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BUDGET UPDATE: Gogebic Taconite protester provision dropped from budget

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Republican State Assembly leaders have changed their minds about using the budget process to keep protesters away from the public land where Gogebic Taconite wants to build an iron ore mine.

Speaker Robin Vos said Tuesday that a restriction was placed into the new state budget, which is the Assembly is scheduled to vote on at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

This morning, however, Vos and Republican Majority Leader Scott Suder said the restriction on access was scrapped – and they did not say why.

South Milwaukee Republican Mark Honadel pushed for the access restriction. He said something needed to be to prevent violence at the proposed mining site in Ashland and Iron counties.

Honadel said the reason he wanted it in the budget was that the Assembly would not be able to consider a separate bill until September.

Meanwhile, Gogebic Taconite has filed new documents with the DNR. They spell out a plan to remove less than 10,000 tons of underground rock from the site, so the quality of the iron deposit can be tested.

Also, Gogebic filed a required one-year notice that it would make a formal application for the mine.