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Foxconn deal faces slower road in the Senate

The Foxconn deal is quickly making its way through the Assembly, but it could face a tougher road in the Senate.

Republican and Democratic senators want more assurances that the promised jobs will actually materialize.

Right now there isn't even a bill introduced in the Senate. However Thursday afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) signaled he is getting closer to moving the deal forward after getting a look at some of the assembly amendments in the works.

This week Sen. Fitzgerald expressed frustration with the fast-tracking of the Foxconn deal, saying Senate Republicans were left out of the conversation. He also had concerns about when Foxconn could deliver on the promised job creation.

But after a caucus meeting Thursday afternoon, the majority leader indicated he got reassurances for state leaders about how quickly jobs will be created.

Democrats, however, have not yet gotten those same reassurances..

“How are the clawbacks going to be enforced?” Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) questioned Thursday. “[The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation] has a track record that there are some companies here in Wisconsin that they were given $2 million and the jobs did not materialize and WEDC has not been able to claw back any of those taxpayer dollars.”

Sen. Shilling says she also has questions about the wetlands that will be effected-and the impact to local communities if the deal falls through. 

“I think many in the legislature would like to see something like this happen. The question really is the cost to taxpayers and can we afford this?” she said.

Thursday, Sen. Fitzgerald told reporters he expects the Legislature's Finance Committee, which includes members from the assembly and the senate, will hold a public hearing August 22.

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