Wisconsin governor to sign $3 billion Foxconn bill into law

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker is scheduled Monday to sign into law a $3 billion incentive package for Foxconn Technology Group to build a flat-screen plant in southeastern Wisconsin, a deal that he calls a "huge win" for the entire state. The governor told WTMJ-AM radio that with the...

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker is scheduled Monday to sign into law a $3 billion incentive package for Foxconn Technology Group to build a flat-screen plant in southeastern Wisconsin, a deal that he calls a "huge win" for the entire state.

The governor told WTMJ-AM radio that with the bill signed into law, Foxconn will likely announce the location of the giant factory within a couple of weeks. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, Walker's job-creation agency, will finalize a contract with the Taiwanese electronics manufacturer to execute the legislation by the beginning of October with groundbreaking expected this spring, the governor said. Foxconn hopes to open the doors in 2020, he said.

"I couldn't be more thrilled that today we'll be signing legislation that will open the door for literally tens of thousands of jobs in Wisconsin," said Walker, who planned to sign the package Monday afternoon at Gateway Technical College near Racine. "It's a huge win, not just for the people in southeastern Wisconsin but people across the state."

The bill provides nearly $3 billion in cash to Foxconn if it invests $10 billion in a new flat-screen factory in southeastern Wisconsin and employs 13,000 people. The measure also provides $150 million in sales tax exemptions on construction equipment; allows the company to build in wetlands and waterways; and sends any appeals of legal challenges to the plant directly to the state Supreme Court, which is controlled by conservative justices.

Walker and supporters are heralding the deal as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make the state a hub for the high-tech electronics industry. Foxconn is the world's largest contract manufacturer of electronics and is best known for making iPhones.

Opponents have decried the deal as a giveaway to Foxconn, saying it hasn't provided enough guarantees to protect taxpayers in case workers are laid off or Foxconn leaves the state. They've also taken issue with sending appeals directly to the Supreme Court; until now, no one has had a right to be heard before the high court.

Walker told WTMJ-AM that he's confident the incentives package is constitutional.

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