State says Kimberly-Clark now interested in tax incentives, lawmakers to push for summer session

MADISON, Wis. - State lawmakers are signaling they may come back into legislative session this summer to work on an incentive package for Kimberly-Clark, which is based in Neenah. 

The Appleton Post Crescent reported Tuesday morning that the company would be willing to work with the state on an incentive package to keep some 600 jobs in Wisconsin. The announcement follows work to reach a new collective bargaining agreement with the United Steelworkers.

The Assembly in February had approved legislation that offered tax credits to the company that could cost between $100 and $115 million over 15 years.  The Senate did not pass that bill before adjourning for the year. 

In a statement released Tuesday morning, Senate President Roger Roth, R-Appleton, said he would work with Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, "to help get the Senate in a position to come back in and pass this important legislation."

In a statement released Tuesday, Gov. Scott Walker said, “The agreement reached between Kimberly-Clark and the United Steelworkers is outstanding news, and we look forward to working with Senate leaders and the company to keep hundreds of good-paying, family-supporting jobs in the Fox Valley.”

"Senator Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, plans to speak next week with his caucus members, Minority Leader Shilling and Governor Walker to determine the most appropriate and realistic path forward for the senate," said Dam Romportl, spokesman for Sen. Scott Fitzgerald.

Two Republican state lawmakers from the Fox Valley area released a statement Tuesday morning lauding the news from. Kimberly-Clark.

"We are gratified to see that the work we did in the spring to keep family-sustaining, paper industry careers right here in Wisconsin is paying off," read the statement from Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke, R-Kaukauna and Rep. Mike Rohrkaste, R-Neenah. 

The head of the state's job creation agency said in a statement Tuesday morning saying they were "pleased Kimberly-Clark has reached an agreement with the United Steelworks that would ensure the company's Cold Spring facility remains in operation."

"WEDC has had productive conversations with the company since February regarding how the legislation to provide Kimberly-Clark with state incentives would work with WEDC's programs," said WEDC CEO Mark Hogan.  "We look forward to working with the company, Governor Walker and state legislators to find a path forward to secure Kimberly-Clark's presence in Wisconsin for decades to come."


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