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Assembly to take up mining bill on March 7

Published On: Feb 28 2013 01:16:15 PM CST

MADISON, Wis. -

The state Assembly plans to take up Republicans' contentious mining bill on March 7.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, a Burlington Republican, told reporters during a news conference Thursday GOP leaders expect to begin debate that morning and spend most of the day on the bill.

Republicans control the chamber, making passage all but certain. Approval would send the bill on to Gov. Scott Walker for his signature. The Senate narrowly passed the bill after a nearly nine-hour debate Wednesday evening.

The bill is designed to clear the regulatory path for a huge open-pit iron mine just south of Lake Superior. Republicans say the mine would create hundreds of jobs for the economically depressed region. Democrats and conservationists maintain the bill will relax environmental protections and lead to devastating pollution.

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