MADISON -- Should Wisconsin give Foxconn up to $3 billion in tax incentives?
It's a marathon meeting. Business leaders, politicians, lobbying groups and education leaders all giving their thoughts on a possible deal that could bring manufacturing giant Foxconn to Wisconsin.
Business leaders urging lawmakers to pass a tax-incentive package critical for the company to begin construction.
"In essence Foxconn is promising to bring to our state a high-tech industry that simply does not exist in the United States today," officials said.
Foxconn is promising billions in investments, and thousands of jobs in a massive campus to be built-in either Racine or Kenosha County. In return, the state is offering a tax-incentive package that could reach $3 billion, the largest in state history.
Democrats are urging fellow republicans who control the legislature not to rush such an enormous decision.
"Let's slow this process down," officials said.
Others are concerned about possible relaxed environmental requirements for the company.
"Unless the potentially are going to build it in a desert, it's going to have some sort of environmental impact," State Representative Cory Mason said.
Other concerns-- UW leaders tell the committee they already are facing shortages of engineering professors.
"We need faculty and faculty is a critical factor right now. I just don't have the resources to hire those," Ray Cross said.
Foxconn would explode demand even higher, and require upgrades to classrooms and labs. A daunting challenge, university leaders welcome.
"We could be international leaders in this field and that brings opportunity for researchers for students for families it's wonderful," Ray Cross said.
Members of the public were scheduled to speak starting at 4:30 p.m. in Thursday afternoon, August 3rd, but scheduled speakers lagged hours behind the plan.
"At some point are we going to get around to people who are not paid to sit in this room? To hear from them," State Representative Christine Sinicki asked.
The Committee Chair says everyone in the room would get a chance to speak.