Although the state estimates the Foxconn deal will not break even until 2043, there remains concerns that Wisconsin may never get the chance to recoup its major investment into the company. Jon Peacock of the Wisconsin Budget Project, which has released a Foxconn analysis, breaks down the numbers and explains why Foxconn leaving before the state breaks even could be a "real possibility."
As the Foxconn bill moves from the Assembly to the Senate, Republican Sen. Alberta Darling joins us to discuss the next steps the Foxconn debate will take. Darling co-chairs the Joint Finance Committee, which will hold hearings on the Assembly next week. This is a "landmark opportunity for Wisconsin to be put on the map as a tech manufacturing state," she explains.
After passing the Wisconsin State Assembly, the Foxconn bill will now be taken up by the Senate, where it will get a public hearing before the Joint Finance Committee next week. For the latest, we speak with Sen. Jon Erpenbach, Democratic member of the Joint Finance Committee, who shares his concerns about the bill, especially the exemption of certain environmental reviews.
Racial unrest across the country continues in the wake of violence caused by neo-Nazi and other white supremacist groups in Charlottesville. In cities across the nation, Confederate monuments are coming down, including in a Madison cemetery. Where can the U.S. conversation on race go from here? We talk to Tracey Robertson of Fit Oshkosh, who facilitates community conversations on race relations.
Weighing in on the environmental impacts of Foxconn is heavy metals expert Peter Adriaens from the University of Michigan. He talks about the potential dangers of manufacturing with the heavy metals necessary for LCD screens, a type of manufacturing uncommon in the state. Adriaens says many of the specific metals used are bioaccumulative and may stay in organisms for the rest of their lives.
To talk about Foxconn's impact on local control, we speak with Todd Berry from the Wisconsin Taxpayer Alliance. Berry states that Foxconn would not be exempt from property taxes, which could be a boon to property values if Foxconn is successful. "That windfall will fall to not only the municipality but the schools and the counties," he says.
WPR Captiol Bureau Chief Shawn Johnson discusses the Foxconn bill's journey through the state legislature. Johnson talks about the speed with which the bill is moving through the Assembly, and anticipates a vote in that house next week. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald is looking for additional assurances that jobs will be created.
On today's show, we examine: the potential impact of the Foxconn deal on local governments; the types of pollutants tech manufactures create; the implications of Foxconn regarding the Great Lakes compact; and the friction between the State Assembly and Senate over the Foxconn process.
As the discussion over environmental impacts of Foxconn continues, WisContext reporter Scott Gordon explores the role that water usage plays in LCD manufacturing. The proposed locations along Lake Michigan could require special consideration and could involve approval by the Great Lakes Compact.
The Legislative Fiscal Bureau released a report on the tax incentives for Foxconn this week, including information on the financial impact the deal would have on the state. The report includes a break-even date for the project, which would not be until 2043 under best case scenarios.