The Latest: Wisconsin Foxconn deal waives regulations

MADISON, Wis. — The Latest on the Foxconn plant announced for Wisconsin (all times local):

4:50 p.m.

A wide array of Wisconsin environmental regulations would be waived under a proposal put forward by Gov. Scott Walker to lure electronic manufacturing giant Foxconn to the state.

A bill Walker released on Friday would allow Foxconn, without permits, to discharge dredged materials, fill wetlands, change the course of streams, build artificial bodies of water that connect with natural waterways and build on a riverbed or lakebed.

Foxconn would also be exempt from having to create a state environmental impact statement, something required for much smaller projects.

The bill would also allow for $252 million in borrowing to complete the rebuilding of Interstate 94 which connects Milwaukee with Chicago and runs along where Foxconn is expected to build the plant.

The $10 billion plant could employ 13,000 people in six years.

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4 p.m.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has called the Legislature into special session to consider passing a $3 billion incentive package to lure electronics manufacturer Foxconn to the state.

Walker made the call Friday for the Legislature to return in August. Walker and Foxconn CEO Terry Gou signed a memorandum of understanding on Thursday for the factory to be built, contingent on the Legislature taking action.

Foxconn says it will build a $10 billion factory employing up to 13,000 people over the next six years.

The Legislature is controlled by Republicans and news that Foxconn wants to place its first U.S. factory in Wisconsin has generated bipartisan support. Some Democrats have questioned the size of the incentive package, which would be the largest in state history.

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3:05 p.m.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is telling critics of the state’s $3 billion deal to land a massive Foxconn plant to “suck lemons.”

Walker made the comment Friday during a stop in western Wisconsin as he’s touring the state touting the planned $10 billion display screen factory to be built in southeast Wisconsin.

Critics of the proposal have questioned the state’s commitment to give the Taiwan company $3 billion if it invests $10 billion and hires 13,000 people.

Walker said in Eau Claire, “There’s a whole lot of people out there scrambling to try and come up with a reason not to like this. I can tell you, that’s fine but I think they can go suck lemons.”

Walker says everyone else is going to “cheer and figure out how we get this thing going forward.”

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1:50 p.m.

The bulk of the $3 billion tax incentive package Wisconsin is offering manufacturing giant Foxconn to locate in the state would be paid out in cash and not in tax credits.

Under the deal unveiled Thursday that the Legislature would have to approve, the state would pay the company up to $200 million a year for 15 years. Gov. Scott Walker’s administration described the payment as a tax credit, but because the state already waives all taxes on manufacturing credits in the state, the incentives would be paid as cash rather than a credit against taxes owed.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel first reported on that part of the deal Friday.

The money would not be paid until Foxconn hits investment and job creation targets, and it could be recovered if it lays off workers.

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10:30 a.m.

Gov. Scott Walker is taking to the air to tout news that global electronics giant Foxconn plans to invest $10 billion on a new manufacturing facility in southeast Wisconsin.

The Friday tour taking Walker far from where the plant is located gives him a chance to talk up how the plant will help the entire state, not just the region where it’s located. Walker plans to travel to La Crosse, Eau Claire, Wausau and Appleton.

Lobbyist Bill McCoshen was Wisconsin’s commerce secretary under then-Gov. Tommy Thompson. He says the tour gives Walker a chance to win over state lawmakers outside of the Milwaukee area to try and get their support for a $3 billion tax incentive bill the Legislature must pass to seal the deal.

That bill has not yet been released.

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12:10 a.m.

Wisconsin’s deal with electronics giant Foxconn requires the state Legislature to pass a $3 billion incentive package no later than Sept. 30.

Gov. Scott Walker and Foxconn CEO Terry Gou signed a memorandum of understanding Thursday at Milwaukee’s art museum. The memorandum says Foxconn commits to investing $10 billion in Wisconsin and create 13,000 jobs over six years.

Wisconsin promises to extend $3 billion in tax breaks, but the Legislature must approve those incentives. The Republican-controlled Legislature is expected to consider them in a special session next month.

Walker on Thursday touted the deal as a once-a-generation opportunity that will transform Wisconsin’s economy.

No site has been selected yet for the Foxconn plant, but the company is eyeing the southeast part of the state.

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