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Another committee vote on mining reform next week


MADISON (WSAU)  The state Legislature’s finance committee will vote Monday on new mining regulations that would make it easier to open a proposed iron ore mine in far northern Wisconsin. The Joint Finance Committee is expected to endorse a Republican package of measures that would set deadlines for the approval of state mining permits and relax certain environmental rules. Monday’s vote would most likely send the package to both houses.

Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald expects the Senate to take up the bill next Wednesday. Republicans want to help Gogebic Taconite create jobs by developing what would be the largest mine in state history in parts of Ashland and Iron counties.

Democrats and environmentalists are concerned about possible pollution in the region, and the ending of public challenges to D-N-R mining decisions.