Wisconsin panel changes court rules for Foxconn plant

 

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Foxconn Technology Group could appeal lawsuits directly to the conservative-controlled Wisconsin Supreme Court, skipping the state appeals court, under changes to a $3 billion incentive package the Legislature’s budget-writing committee has approved.

The unprecedented change to the usual judicial process drew criticism from Democrats, who also blasted the $3 billion incentives as a corporate welfare giveaway. But they didn’t have the votes needed to stop the proposal.

The Republican-controlled committee approved the bill on a party line 12-4 vote Tuesday, clearing the way for approval in the Republican-controlled Legislature later this month. The Assembly approved it last month, but will have to vote again since the committee changed the measure which amounts to the largest state tax break to a foreign corporation in U.S. history.

Taiwan-based Foxconn signed a deal with Wisconsin to invest up to $10 billion in the state on a massive flat-screen manufacturing campus that could employ up to 13,000 people. The plant is to be built in southeastern Wisconsin and be open as soon as 2020, although Foxconn has not identified its exact location yet.

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