This week, the Joint Committee on Finance held a public hearing on an important bill authored by State Senator Roger Roth of Appleton. The bill would save hundreds of family-supporting jobs at Kimberly-Clark's plant in Neenah. Without bipartisan support, we may lose those jobs to Arkansas.
More than 25 people made their views heard at the hearing. The often emotional testimony highlighted how important Kimberly-Clark is to their area and the state. The company started in Neenah almost 150 years ago and is the Fox Valley’s largest manufacturer.
The bill would provide state tax credits for 15 years, as long as the company continues to keep the jobs here. Wisconsin made similar investments to keep other long-time companies like Mercury Marine, Oshkosh Corporation, and Plexus.
If the bill is approved, the state will have a huge return on investment. Kimberly-Clark has a $547.5 million annual impact just in their community. Many other companies provide goods and services to the plant which also adds to our economy.
It's my hope that this week's public hearing answered many questions about the proposed bill. The next step could be a vote in the State Senate.