Most of the remaining Dem amendments to the Foxconn bill were rejected on party-line votes this afternoon ahead of committee members ultimately taking up the $3 billion incentive package for the Taiwanese company.
The Assembly Committee on Jobs and the Economy shot down almost two dozen Dem proposals in just under two hours, as members now turn their attention to the substitute amendment Assembly Republicans unveiled on Friday.
The GOP sub amendment would add $20 million for a worker training program and require that the final contract with Foxconn encourage the Taiwanese company to hire Wisconsin workers “when practically possible.”
Still, committee members flew through a series of Dem amendments from the time the executive session kicked off at 3 p.m, including proposals that would have required Foxconn to set a goal to have at least 1 percent of its workers be veterans; and another to revoke Foxconn’s tax credit eligibility if it doesn’t “promote and fully protect” its employees’ ability to collectively bargain.
Meanwhile, one amendment that would outline procurement preferences for public contracts was returned to its authors.
Dems voiced their support for further oversight, expanded environmental language and other provisions they said would protect workers, as they tried to appeal to their GOP colleagues for support.
“We have really lost our way on workers’ rights and workers’ freedoms and workers’ protections,” Rep. Christine Sinicki, D-Milwaukee said. “Everytihng that I’ve read about Foxconn, these workers are going to need rights and protections.”
Still, committee Republicans, largely without comment, voted to reject their colleagues’ proposals. But some received positive feedback.
That includes a Dem amendment to create a regional transit authority in southeastern Wisconsin.
GOP Rep. Joan Ballweg said the proposal “might be something to take a look at,” although she suggested waiting for local governments to determine the process going forward.
“I don’t think it’s the proper time, as part of this bill, that has to do with the contractural agreement to with Foxconn and state,” said Ballweg, R-Markesan.