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Doyle says state committed to GM incentives to keep Janesville plant open

Gov. Jim Doyle says the state remains committed to giving General Motors an incentive to start making smaller cars in Janesville.

Doyle says Monday's announcement that GM will stop making full-size SUV's at the plant on Dec. 23 has no bearing on the negotiations to make cars there.

Doyle led a state delegation last month in presenting an offer to GM to re-tool the Janesville plant instead of closing it for good.

Details of the offer were not disclosed.

GM confirmed Monday the talks are continuing and they have nothing to do with the earlier-than-expected shutdown of SUV manufacturing.

State Assembly Democrat Mike Sheridan, a former union head at GM, says he's optimistic a new line is going there.

He says the union's proposal to change work rules and other contract language is the most competitive offer in all of General Motors.

Sen. Judy Robson, D-Beloit, says Janesville could get some of the $25 million loan package Congress recently approved to help automakers re-tool their plants for more fuel-efficient cars.

Meanwhile, officials in Janesville say they're bringing in more diverse businesses. In addition, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater has opened a small business development center in the community.