Economic development board will see full Foxconn contract

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The head of Wisconsin’s economic development agency said Friday the full board will be allowed to review a proposed $3 billion contract with Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group before voting on it.

The move comes after mounting pressure on the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. Until Friday, the agency said the board would be given only a staff report summarizing the deal, as is routine when dealing with agency contracts. In a letter to board members Friday, agency chief executive Mark Hogan said the board members will now have access to the contract this afternoon. The vote is scheduled for Wednesday.

“Given we are very close on the contract language, and given the size of the award, now is the appropriate time to make it available to you as board members,” Hogan wrote.

He said the review will happen in closed session and will be confidential. The contract will be made available to the public after it’s signed.

Democrats have been calling for the full contract language to be made available. Earlier this week, Republican legislative leaders publicly agreed and also said board members should see the contract before a vote. A vote was delayed in October because of an unexplained problem with the contract language.

The incentive package provides nearly $3 billion in cash to Foxconn if it invests $10 billion in a new flat-screen factory in southeastern Wisconsin and employs 13,000 people. The package already signed by Walker provides $150 million in sales tax exemptions on construction equipment and allows the company to build in wetlands and waterways.

COMMENTS