Protesters disrupt WEDC board ahead of closed-session Foxconn contract vote

MADISON —Protesters interrupted and then refused to leave the room when the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation board voted to go into closed session over the $3 billion incentives contract for a Foxconn Technology Group plant.

WEDC board members spent several minutes seated around their meeting table, avoiding eye contact with the protesters. After Wisconsin State Capitol Police were called in, the protesters left the room. No one was arrested.

The board is set to vote in closed session late Wednesday afternoon on the incentives deal, all but $150 million of which comes in the form of cash payments from state taxpayers if Foxconn builds a plant for its Sharp television brand and hires thousands of workers.

The board will not vote on the draft contract’s actual language but a staff summary of the deal. Board members got copies of the draft contract on Monday, two days before the scheduled vote.

If the board approves the draft contract as expected, WEDC staff could still make changes to it before it gets signed. Gov. Scott Walker has indicated he wants to sign the contract on Friday.

Foxconn is looking to build a massive flat-screen plant in Mount Pleasant. The company has said the plant could eventually employ up to 13,000 people.