On August 3, 2017, State League Executive Director Andrea Kaminski wrote to the Assembly Committee on Jobs and the Economy to oppose special session bill AB1 to consider Foxconn's proposal to build a manufacturing plant in Wisconsin. Read the statement here. The text below includes a link to the bill.
The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin opposes August 2017 Special Session AB 1, based on our positions supporting responsible use of tax revenues and a physical environment beneficial to life.
While Special Session AB 1 will be of some benefit if it succeeds in adding jobs, the price of Wisconsin’s economic incentive for the proposal is much too high. The proposed plant is likely to be highly automated, which means the proposal will generate fewer, more highly skilled jobs. Given the proposed siting of the plant, it is likely that many jobs would go to Illinois residents. That will produce less tax revenue for Wisconsin and less benefit to the state’s economy than would be expected if the jobs were held by Wisconsin residents.
In addition to the direct cost of the tax incentive for the project, Wisconsin residents will also pay an environmental cost if this plan is adopted. The proposed bill exempts Foxconn from the constitutional Public Trust Doctrine protections of wetlands and public waterways. Another provision exempts Foxconn from analysis of its environmental impacts - the EIS law. Without the EIS State and local agencies will not be informed of the harm to our water and air quality, repurposing of land and soil (probably from productive agricultural uses), sanitary sewer and transportation infrastructure, and more. In fact, the more complex a project is, the greater the need for a comparison of alternatives and impacts provided through an environmental impact statement (EIS). It would be shortsighted to exempt Foxconn from this responsibility.
For all of these reasons, we urge you to reject August 2017 Special Session AB 1.
Find out how to contact your assembly representative to oppose this bill here.