Foxconn (copy)

Workers assemble electronic devices on a Foxconn production line in Shenzhen, China. 

ASSOCIATED PRESS ARCHIVES

State officials and lawmakers are working on an incentive package to lure giant Taiwanese iPhone manufacturer Foxconn to Wisconsin.

If lawmakers settle on an incentive package, it won't be in the 2017-19 state budget, but moves to help fund the package could be part of current budget negotiations, Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette, said in an interview with the Wisconsin State Journal.  

"Foxconn is part of the long-term conversations about the budget," said Nygren, co-chairman of the Legislature's budget committee. 

Any incentive package for Foxconn would be contained in separate legislation, he said. 

Sen. Luther Olsen, R-Ripon, and Nygren said the state could announce it has entered into a memorandum of understanding with Foxconn by the end of the month, according to the Associated Press, which first reported on the incentive package.

Foxconn employs about 1 million people to assembly iPhones and smartphones for BlackBerry and Sony. 

The company is considering building a $7 billion U.S. plant that could employ as many as 10,000 people to build display panels. Foxconn officials also are looking at building in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas.  

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, told the AP that lawmakers are talking about "huge, big numbers" to offer to Foxconn officials. 

Fitzgerald's spokeswoman Myranda Tanck said while Fitzgerald his aware of efforts to bring Foxconn to Wisconsin, "all negotiations with the company are being conducted with the administration and have not significantly included legislators."

"He anticipates that any legislative action to help facilitate an agreement with Foxconn would likely come outside of the budget and hopefully garner bipartisan support," she said.

Nygren said the potential incentive package is "not directly" affecting passage of a new state budget, which was due July 1.

But he said lawmakers are now mulling a proposal from Gov. Scott Walker to eliminate a $203 million income tax cut to lower bonding levels to help pay for road projects and potentially help create incentives for Foxconn.

He said lawmakers are considering how this move would affect future budgets. 

For weeks, lawmakers have been at odds over how to close a nearly $1 billion transportation funding gap. The Senate has proposed $721 million borrowing; the Assembly opposes more borrowing.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has reported in recent weeks that Foxconn officials have held a number of meetings in the state, looking at potential sites in southeastern and central Wisconsin including Dane County.

Walker hosted a barbecue last week at his executive mansion in Maple Bluff with lawmakers and Foxconn founder and chairman Terry Gou.

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Molly Beck covers politics and state government for the Wisconsin State Journal.