MADISON – Today, State Representative Chris Sinicki (D-Milwaukee) voted against Special Session Assembly Bill 1, the $3 billion incentive package for Foxconn.
“Like all Wisconsinites, I want our state’s economy to grow and our working families to thrive. So if a bill came before me that created thousands of good, family-sustaining jobs, protected taxpayers, and preserved our environment, I would love to vote for it. Unfortunately, the Foxconn deal that came before me today is not that bill,” said Rep. Sinicki.
The incentive package allows Foxconn to receive $3 billion from Wisconsin taxpayers over the course of the next 15 years in the form of tax credits and exemptions. In exchange, Foxconn promises to create thousands of jobs. Rep. Sinicki offered amendments aimed at ensuring these jobs are good ones, rather than relying on vague promises.
“I look back to the Good Jobs Agreement negotiated with the owners of the Milwaukee Bucks for their new arena. The Bucks didn’t just promise good jobs, they put it in writing, with ironclad guarantees for a $15 base wage, union rights, and local hiring. I don’t understand why we would accept any less with $3 billion on the line,” said Rep. Sinicki.
The legislation exempts Foxconn from a state mandatory environmental impact study and eliminates permit requirements that help preserve our wetlands and waterways. It also omits a minimum wage requirement for Foxconn’s employees, fails to guarantee that jobs created will go to Wisconsin workers, and only gives a nod to protections for taxpayers.
“My Democratic colleagues and I introduced over two dozen amendments that would have helped preserve the environment, protect workers’ rights, strengthen taxpayer clawbacks, and ensure these jobs go to local workers. Sadly, the Republican majority voted down every single one of these common-sense proposals, despite their claims that this process has been bipartisan,” said Rep. Sinicki.
The Foxconn incentive package passed the Assembly on August 17th on a vote of 59 to 30. It now goes before the State Senate.
“I hope my colleagues in the Senate improve this deal by incorporating Democratic amendments that fix this bill’s glaring problems. If these concerns are not addressed, they also should not vote to commit $3 billion in taxpayer dollars to a company with no history in Wisconsin,” said Rep. Sinicki.