Assembly sends Foxconn incentive package to Walker’s desk

QUORUM CALL

The Assembly this afternoon approved the amended Foxconn bill on a 64-31 vote, sending it to Gov. Scott Walker’s desk.

Four Dems broke ranks to support the $3 billion incentive package for the Taiwanese tech company, while two Republicans voted against it. The Senate passed it on Tuesday after adopting a few changes, sending it back to the Assembly.

Among the Dems who green-lighted the deal today were the three who had voted for it the first time the chamber took it up in mid-August: Reps. Peter Barca and Tod Ohnstad, both of Kenosha, and Cory Mason, of Racine. They were joined by Rep. Jason Fields, D-Milwaukee, who voted against the bill last month.

Fields, speaking on the floor this afternoon before the vote, said he was lending his support because he had received assurances from Department of Administration Secretary Scott Neitzel and others he talked to that there’d be training and job opportunities for African Americans.

“It’s about leadership, legacy and looking myself in the mirror,” he said. “If I get up here and don’t take the opportunity to advocate and fight for African American men, then what the hell am I doing?”

Meanwhile, the two Republicans who opposed it were Reps. Todd Novak, of Dodgeville, and Adam Jarchow, of Balsam Lake, both of whom also voted against the prior version of the package.

Prior to passage of the amended bill, the chamber tabled on a 60-33 party-line vote an amendment from Rep. Gary Hebl, D-Sun Prairie, that sought to scrap the expedited appeals process from the Foxconn bill.

“This whole thing is rigged for Foxconn, it’s rigged for Racine,” Hebl said. “You’ve heard that word before? Guess what, it’s the truth.”

But Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, countered that the deal is rigged — but for taxpayers, workers and families in Wisconsin.

“The only people rigged in here seem to be the Democrats, who are rigged against anything Gov. Walker proposes,” he said.

And in a rare floor speech before members cast their ballots, Rep. Tyler August, R-Lake Geneva, condemned the incivility and “political gamesmanship” he’s witnessed on the floor, while voicing his favor for the legislation.

“I don’t care if this thing is going to be located in Lake Genevea, Kenosha, Racine or Rhinelander, I would vote for it,” he said. “It’s going to be good for the state. It’s about what it’s going to be good for the region, for the state.”

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