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Here & Now

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Anchored by Frederica Freyberg, Here & Now is Wisconsin’s weekly in-depth news and public affairs program where civic and political leaders provide context to the issues at the forefront of life in Wisconsin.

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August 18, 2017
Tracey Robertson of Fit Oshkosh on how to move the dialogue forward on racism in the U.S.
August 11, 2017

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.

August 11, 2017

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.

August 4, 2017

The Assembly held a public hearing Thursday on a bill to create a manufacturing zone for Foxconn Technology Group. Discussions took place over the proposed tax credits, financial incentives, and protections for workers, taxpayers and the environment. FoxConn is expected to create 3,000 jobs initially, which could increase to 13,000. A possible 20,000 more jobs could be created in the supply chain.

August 4, 2017

The U.S. Army has backed out of agreement to build a $20 million public drinking water system in the town of Merrimac. The system was proposed to protect well owners from a former Army ammunition plant that is leaking chemicals into the water supply. An Army spokesmen said providing a water system would be inconsistent with the Army's authority under the Defense Environmental Restoration Program.

August 4, 2017

Sources say Foxconn Technology Group is considering building a second Wisconsin facility in Dane County. It is not official yet, but experts say it would not be surprising given that Foxconn executives have already met with UW-Madison researchers and startup companies from the University Research Park. In addition, many Foxconn scientists and executives are alumni of UW-Madison.

August 4, 2017

Although Senate Republicans want to pass the state budget bill first, Assembly Republicans are eager to move forward on the Foxconn deal. We talk to Rep. Adam Neylon, chair of the Assembly Jobs and Economy Committee, who says: "When you have the opportunity to bring jobs to Wisconsin, you have to take advantage of that opportunity." He says he is open to changes to the special sessions bill.

August 4, 2017

Sarah Geers, staff attorney with Midwest Environmental Advocates, tells us how unusual the environmental review exemptions in the Foxconn deal is. She expressed the company will face "higher environmental standards than they do in China" and is concerned that Republican leadership has eroded the budget and authority of the Department of Natural Resources to do its job enforcing environmental laws.

August 4, 2017

Democrats have issued mixed responses over the proposed Foxconn deal. Rep. Corey Mason, who testified at Thursday's Assembly hearing, is cautiously optimistic, however tells us there are still concerns and unanswered questions. Mason represents Racine, where there is a longing for lost manufacturing jobs. The community also cares about environmental issues, including Great Lakes water quality.

August 4, 2017

Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou signed a memorandum of understanding with Wisconsin ginseng growers last week to help promote the herb to overseas markets. We speak to Bob Kaldunski, president of the Ginseng Board of Wisconsin. Foxconn's interest in ginseng caught him off guard, he says, "It's very rare for a company to come see us." He hopes the relationship will boost sales both at home and abroad.

August 4, 2017

On today's show, we examine: the proposed Foxconn deal with state assembly leaders; the environmental impact Foxconn may have on Wisconsin; the budding relationship between Foxconn and the ginseng industry; the possibility of a second Foxconn plant in Dane County; and the U.S. Army backing out of an agreement to build a public drinking water system near a contaminated former Army ammunition plant.

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WisContext serves the residents of Wisconsin, providing information and insight into issues as they affect the state.