Wisconsin lawmakers are preparing to move forward on a $3 billion tax incentive package with technology manufacturer Foxconn, even as a new estimate from the state legislature's nonpartisan budget office revealed the state wouldn't break even on the deal until 2043.
The Taiwanese company's plans were announced at a high-profile White House event with President Trump last month. The planned Foxconn factory in southeastern Wisconsin would open by 2020 and cover 20 million square feet on a nearly 1.6-square-mile campus.
On Thursday, state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, who had been the most reticent of Wisconsin's Republican leaders about the deal, changed his tone.
Fitzgerald signaled he is ready to move forward with the deal, tossing aside previous statements that the state budget, which is more than a month past its deadline, should take precedence.
"If we can get both of these things done simultaneously and get this stuff kicked out of the finance committee, then we'd be in a good position to probably finish up the budget and also get Foxconn done," Fitzgerald told reporters Thursday afternoon.
Just one day earlier, the senator had called a new estimate about the long-term economic impact of the deal "striking," urging his colleagues to be "cautious" as they evaluated the incentive package.