Gov., AG respond to report on Panasonic deal’s lack of guarantees

The Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant was used to make cannon powder and rocket propellant. Now...
The Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant was used to make cannon powder and rocket propellant. Now it will be the site of a Panasonic EV battery plant.(KCTV5 News)
Published: Jul. 25, 2022 at 10:59 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Republicans are saying a report that the deal luring a new Panasonic plant to Kansas includes no guarantees for job numbers or salaries, shows election year desperation by the Gov. Laura Kelly’s administration.

Lawmakers approved a nearly $830 million incentive package for the $4 billion project in Johnson Co. It includes a $500 million tax credit for the company’s investment, and up $234 million in payroll rebates. But The Kansas City Star reports it does not require the plant, which will make electric vehicle batteries, to include any certain number of jobs, or pay a minimum salary.

Current Attorney General Derek Schmidt, Kelly’s likely opponent in the November election, said it’s disappointing an announcement of good-paying jobs does not actually require good-paying jobs.

“Pretty disappointing when an election-year announcement of good-paying jobs comes without an actual requirement for good-paying jobs,” Schmidt said. “We need a governor who will be more responsible with hardworking taxpayer money. Kansas can do better.”

Kelly’s office told 13 NEWS part of the incentive is tied to payroll, and it would not make sense for a company to make a major investment in a new facility without hiring workers to use it.

“Panasonic is a well-established company with a strong track record of success. We are confident that Panasonic will hire the workers needed to make its investment worthwhile. In addition, hiring those workers is the only way the company will gain the agreed-upon incentives. We put that requirement in place in order to minimize the risk to the state and maximize the benefit for Kansas workers.”

Copyright 2022 WIBW. All rights reserved.