Dems unveil three Foxconn amendments ahead of floor vote

QUORUM CALL

Senate Dems today announced three amendments to the $3 billion Foxconn incentive package that they said would prioritize hiring Wisconsin workers, make the tax credits nonrefundable and nix all exemptions for the Taiwanese manufacturer from Wisconsin’s environmental regulations.

Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling said the three amendments are geared toward ensuring there is a level playing field for Wisconsin businesses as well as Foxconn, and that taxpayers and state natural resources are protected.

One of the three also includes removing a provision Republicans added in Joint Finance last week that would send any appeals of courts decisions related to the project straight to the state Supreme Court. That would bypass the appeals court level.

“That should be the definition of rigging the system,” said Shilling, D-La Crosse.

Shilling said some Dems were also working on individual amendments in addition to the three she outlined.

Still, she was noncommittal when asked if any Dems would vote for the bill on final passage. Three Assembly Dems, all from the area where the factory is planned, supported the legislation in that house.

The proposed changes include:

*prohibiting job tax credits from being claimed for non-Wisconsin workers as well as those earning less than the average regional wage and/or who are not offered health insurance.

*requiring Foxconn to negotiate an agreement with employees that includes a wage floor with a pathway to $15 an hour for all covered workers; the minimum wage would then be indexed for inflation.

*prohibiting capital credits from being used for automation.

*requiring WEDC to claw back all tax benefits if the company fails to invest $10 billion in capital and hire at least 13,000 people by the end of a 15-year term.

*requiring the company to demolish buildings and restore environmental conditions if it abandons the site.

Read a handout on the amendments.

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