The Latest: Wisconsin Senate approves $3 billion for Foxconn

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) The Latest on Wisconsin Senate debate of Foxconn bill (all times local):

6:10 p.m.

The Wisconsin Senate has approved nearly $3 billion in cash payments for Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group.

Foxconn plans to construct a massive flat-screen production factory in the state.

The Republican-controlled Senate on Tuesday discounted Democratic concerns about the unprecedented $3 billion incentive package and passed the bill on a 20-13 vote.

The proposal now heads to the Wisconsin Assembly for a final vote Thursday.

Democrats argue there aren't enough protections for taxpayers under the deal.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker negotiated the deal and has been touting the plant as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the state. Foxconn has said it may invest $10 billion in the state and employ up to 13,000 people.

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5:15 p.m.

The Wisconsin Senate has voted to change a provision in a $3 billion incentive package for Foxconn Technology Group that originally would have given the electronics giant an automatic expedited track to the state Supreme Court.

The amendment adopted Tuesday gives the state Supreme Court the option to take certain appeals, but it would not be required to hear them. Lower court rulings would automatically be put on hold during the appeal.

Legal experts had questioned the constitutionality of that expedited appeals process which skipped over the state appeals court.

Under the change, the Supreme Court would decide whether to keep the case or send it down to the appeals court for a decision first.

Democratic Sen. Fred Risser calls the changes dangerous and bad for democracy.

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1:30 p.m.

Republicans plan to change a provision in a $3 billion incentive package for Foxconn Technology Group that originally would have given the electronics giant an expedited track to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

The Wisconsin Senate planned to vote Tuesday on an amendment that would give the state Supreme Court the option to take an appeal, but it would not be required to hear it. The requirement had been added last week by the Legislature's budget committee.

Legal experts had questioned the constitutionality of that expedited appeals process which skipped over the state appeals court.

Under the change up for a vote, the Supreme Court would decide whether to keep the case or send it down to the appeals court for a decision.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court is controlled 5-2 by conservative justices.

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12:25 p.m.

A Wisconsin Republican legislative leader is urging state Senate Democrats to support a $3 billion incentive package for electronics manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group.

Sen. Alberta Darling said during debate Tuesday that Foxconn's planned investment in the state will be transformational and Democrats should be supportive. The Republican-controlled Senate is expected to pass the bill later Tuesday.

Darling is co-chair of the Legislature's budget committee. She calls the incentives a "good deal for Wisconsin taxpayers."

Foxconn could get nearly $3 billion in cash payments if it hires 13,000 people and invests $10 billion on the flat-screen production facility.

Democrats say there aren't enough safeguards in the deal to protect taxpayers.

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10:25 a.m.

Wisconsin Senate Democrats say they will push for changes to a $3 billion incentive package for electronics giant Foxconn Technology Group that would protect taxpayers and the environment.

But Republicans have enough votes in the state Senate to approve the bill Tuesday with no changes. It is the largest state incentive package in U.S. history for a foreign company.

Foxconn is based in Taiwan and plans to invest up to $10 billion on a flat-screen production facility in southeast Wisconsin. The company has said it could employ up to 13,000 people.

Senate Democrats say they want changes to ensure the state can recover up to $2.85 billion in cash payments to Foxconn if it doesn't make the job or financial investment.

Democratic amendments would also strengthen environmental protections.

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12:46 a.m.

The Wisconsin Senate is poised to approve nearly $3 billion in cash payments for Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group to locate a flat-screen factory in the state.

The incentive package up for a vote Tuesday would be the largest ever from a U.S. state to a foreign company and 10 times bigger than anything Wisconsin has extended to a private business.

Foxconn would receive $2.85 billion in cash payments over 15 years if it invests $10 billion in the state and employs 13,000 people. It could also qualify for $150 million in sales tax exemptions for construction equipment.

Democrats say state taxpayers are giving up too much under the agreement negotiated by Republican Gov. Scott Walker. But Walker and supporters say the project offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to the state.

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