Madison – Today, Republicans in the State Assembly convened a special floor session to pass a $3 billion corporate welfare package for a foreign company. As noted by Politifact Wisconsin, the package will be “the largest ever subsidy provided by a state to a foreign company,” and per the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, will put taxpayers on the hook with no return on their investment for at least 25 years.
By bringing the bill to the floor of the State Assembly less than a month after introduction, Republican legislators chose to pass a corporate welfare package that is projected to send billions of tax dollars to the Taiwanese company before passing a 2017-19 state budget which would fund the state’s schools, infrastructure projects, and other critical services.
Assistant Assembly Democratic Leader Dianne Hesselbein (D-Middleton) voted against the unprecedented corporate welfare package and released the following statement after all Democratic amendments were voted down by the Republican majority:
“As a Democrat, and representative of several prominent Wisconsin businesses that help drive our state’s economy, I support creating economic opportunity for hardworking Wisconsin families. After reviewing the corporate welfare proposal that was introduced by Governor Walker less than a month ago that will send billions of tax dollars to a Taiwanese company with a checkered history of delivering on job promises, I could not support the Foxconn proposal. My concerns with how this will affect Wisconsin’s ability to fund other state priorities for decades to come were compounded by the far-reaching environmental rollbacks included in the bill and the fact that we have not completed a state budget to fund our biggest priorities.
“It became clear that this bill was ushered through the legislative process with no guarantee that Wisconsin taxpayer money will benefit Wisconsin workers and contractors. We should have been far more deliberative and let the Joint Finance Committee review the proposal to get the best deal possible for taxpayers in every corner of the state. It’s my fear that too many Wisconsinites will get a raw deal out of this corporate giveaway.”