Friday - August 18, 2017 2:38 am

Billings, others express doubt about Foxconn deal, as it passes Assembly

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Two Republicans voted against, while three
Dems near the plant's proposed site, voted for

There were hours of debate Thursday in Madison before a vote on whether to give giant manufacturer Foxconn $3 billion in incentives.

The state Assembly considered the unprecedented package and some lawmakers warned about how changing tech could alter the future of Foxconn promises.

"If I replace 2017 with 2005 and LCD screens with Blackberrys, how excited would you be about a 15-year investment with a quarter-century payback?" Democrat Gordon Hintz asked the Assembly. "Or VCRs? Or, whatever?"

Hintz continued: "National business leaders with no skin in the game - with nothing to gain from being in Wisconsin and related to this - have said this is a total loser for taxpayers."

La Crosse state rep. Jill Billings expressed hers during the debate, saying the deal is looking "less and less rosy."

"It's like when you see a sexy car and really want it but I'm asking you to take a step back and look under the hood," Billings said. "Although I want to have a jobs program in Wisconsin. This one, I don't see getting the results that we really need."

Billings says there are just too many unanswered questions about the plan, but it passed the Assembly on a bipartisan 59-30 vote.

Three Democrats, who are from near where the plant may locate, joined 56 Republicans in support. Twenty-eight Democrats and two Republicans voted against it.

The bill now heads to the Senate, also controlled by Republicans. It must pass the Senate in the same form and be signed by Gov. Scott Walker before taking effect.

Last modified on Friday - August 18, 2017 6:57 am
Mitch Reynolds

Mitch Reynolds is the News Director at Midwest Family Broadcasting. He covers the internecine agonies of La Crosse city hall. He really likes basketball.

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