GOP lawmakers want hearing on train compact

    The Republican members of the Legislature’s budget committee are calling on the panel’s Democratic co-chairs to hold an informational hearing on the state’s $48 million contract with Spanish train manufacturer Talgo.
    Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Madison), who co-chairs the committee, said the Joint Finance Committee will meet a number of times before the end of the session and will take up relevant requests. But it won’t “jump through hoops to hold a hearing” if it’s just the “same old politics the Republicans have been doing.”
    In the letter, Sens. Alberta Darling and Luther Olsen and Reps. Robin Vos and Phil Montgomery question whether the contract is in the best interest of the state, saying "there is a legitimate case to be made" that the contract will result in a net loss of jobs. The Republicans say that the contract has put Milwaukee’s Super Steel Products "on the precipice of bankruptcy" and could result in 250 job losses.
    Talgo announced last week it will locate a plant in Milwaukee to build rail cars, estimating it will create 125 jobs. The company also decided to assemble the train cars itself rather than contract with Super Steel to perform the work.
    However, Super Steel spokesman Evan Zeppos said the company would have filed for receivership regardless of whether Talgo hired it to assemble the trains, and the company also remains in contention to be a subcontractor for Talgo.
    See the GOP letter:

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