Senate formally introduces Foxconn bill, refers to JFC

Sen. Fitzgerald speaks as the Senate debates the right-to-work bill in the Senate Chambers in the State Capitol, in Madison, on Tuesday, February 24, 2015. photo by Michelle Stocker

The Senate Thursday formally introduced the Foxconn bill and referred it to the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald has said that the budget, which is more than a month late, should be lawmakers’ priority, while Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, has said the Foxconn bill should take precedence.

Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, backed off that stance a bit Thursday.

Fitzgerald said he’s going to talk to Gov. Scott Walker and Vos again and see if JFC can hold a hearing on the Foxconn bill on Aug. 22 and wrap up the rest of the budget that week.

“I guess I’m moving more [from the] budget needs to get done first to: If we can get both of these things done simultaneously and get this stuff kicked out of the Finance Committee then we’d be in a good position,” he said.

Fitzgerald said again Thursday that he hasn’t yet asked Senate Republicans where they stand on the Foxconn bill and therefore isn’t sure whether there’s enough support for it. He said he wants senators to evaluate the bill after the “outstanding two hours” that they had Thursday to ask the Walker administration questions on it.

“I didn’t sit in there and ask anybody to raise their hand to see if they were supportive,” he said.

Fitzgerald said he sat down with Rep. Adam Neylon, R-Pewaukee, who chairs the Assembly committee that’s working on the Foxconn bill, to go over amendments that the Assembly is working on ahead of a likely executive session next week.

He said Senate Republicans have decided to go through them individually and possibly offer some of their own, though he said he doesn’t expect the Senate to offer many amendments.

One of the Assembly amendments, he said, would locate Foxconn’s facility in Racine County, where Vos’ district is, but Fitzgerald said that he didn’t know the details.

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