Madison
49° F
Overcast
Overcast
Advertisement

Budget panel approves mining bill

Published On: Feb 25 2013 07:29:07 AM CST   Updated On: Feb 25 2013 07:28:30 PM CST

MADISON, Wis. -

The Wisconsin Legislature's budget committee has approved a Republican bill that would overhaul the state's mining regulations.

The Joint Finance Committee's 12-4 vote Monday sends the bill on to the full Senate and Assembly. All the Republicans on the Joint Finance Committee voted in favor of the bill, and all four Democrats on the committee voted against it.

Passage is all but certain. The GOP controls both houses and Republican Gov. Scott Walker has touted the bill as his signature job creation plan.

The measure is designed to clear the regulatory path for Gogebic Taconite's plans for a huge iron mine near Lake Superior. Republicans maintain the mine would create hundreds of jobs for the region.

"If the mine is approved, then what we'll see is a lot of jobs," said Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills. "There's going to be a huge economic revival in this area. There is. And we're not going to do it at the expense of the environment; that's not what we're going to do."

Democrats vowed to continue fighting the measure.

"It might be a great deal for that mining company, but it's a raw deal for Wisconsin citizens," said Rep. Cory Mason, D-Racine.

Democrats and environmentalists contend the bill would open the door for pollution that would devastate the pristine area.

"We really, really only have one shot to do this right here in this state and this bill before us is not it. There is overwhelming opposition. The process has been flawed. This bill is flawed. This is a bill that's been written by the special interests," said Sen. Jennifer Schilling, D-La Crosse.

The Senate is expected to take up the measure on Wednesday. The Assembly is expected to follow next week.

Advertisement
  • PHOTOS: Viewers drop off sensitive documents for Shredfest

    The WISC-TV studio parking lot was busy with hundreds of viewers bringing their sensitive documents to be destroyed as part of Shredfest with the Better Business Bureau Saturday morning.

    A combined 1,295 cars dropped off bags of papers at WISC-TV on Raymond Road and SVA Certified Public Accountants firm on John Q. Hammons Drive.

    News 3 and Better Business Bureau team members unloaded bags of documents from viewers' cars and Pellitteri Waste Systems' Data Destruction team put the papers into the shredding trucks.

  • Earthquake in Nepal 12

    Omar Havana/Getty Images

    Earthquake kills hundreds in Nepal

    A 7.8 magnitude earthquake centered less than 50 miles from Kathmandu rocked Nepal with devastating force early Saturday, killing at least 1,400 people -- and probably more -- in Nepal's capital city, authorities said. 

  • Bruce Jenner

    Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational

    Most memorable celebrity interviews

    Bruce Jenner will talk with Diane Sawyer in a highly anticipated interview on Friday night. Look back at some of the other memorable celebrity interviews from over the years.

Advertisement