Foxconn bill to receive public hearing Thursday

Company displays products at WCTC [PHOTO GALLERY]

Terry Gou talks to reporters ahead of a memorandum of understanding signing.

The Assembly Committee on Jobs and the Economy will hold a public hearing Thursday on legislation behind an incentive package for Foxconn Technology Group, Assembly Republicans announced today.

The committee is chaired by Rep. Adam Neylon, R-Pewaukee, who said the hearing would start at 1:30 p.m. and be held in the Joint Finance Committee Room at the Capitol.

J.R. Ross, editor of WisPolitics, a BizTimes media partner, tweeted that the committee would hold an executive session on the bill next Tuesday but the timeline could change if needed.

Foxconn founder and chairman Terry Gou talks to reporters last week.

Lawmakers caucused today to discuss the bill, a draft of which Gov. Scott Walker released last week. The bill sets up the systems for the $3 billion incentive package the state agreed to with Foxconn, but it also authorizes borrowing for the Interstate 94 North-South project, gives the company a pass on certain environmental regulations (see more from BizTimes Milwaukee media partner WISN-TV Channel 12) and gives municipalities more flexibility in financing improvements for the company.

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau today released its first report on the Foxconn bill, which also includes a financial incentive to keep Brookfield-based Fiserv’s headquarters in Wisconsin. The document largely covers the policy aspects of the bill. Vos said a second paper would address the fiscal implications.

Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. spokesman Mark Maley confirmed the company would be building “about” 15 buildings as part of its 20-million-square-foot campus.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said the biggest priority for lawmakers is having the Foxconn bill continue to move along so the company can pick a site, even as the state budget remains unfinished.

He also said the bill and incentive package protect state taxpayers because the company won’t receive any money unless it spends on construction or wages.

“There’s really about as much protection as we could put into the bill,” he said. “No (incentive) money goes out until the project occurs.”

Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke said he hopes the legislation could be on the floor of the Assembly by the week of Aug. 14.

Read more from WisPolitics here.

A Foxconn product showcase is continuing today at Waukesha County Technical College. The event started Monday and runs through 3 p.m. today.

Images courtesy of Waukesha County Technical College.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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