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State Republicans Unveil Newest Mining ProposalSubmitted: 01/16/2013

Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com


MADISON - We expected Wisconsin Republicans to put forward a new mining bill soon after Governor Walker emphasized it in Tuesday night's State of the State.

Most of us didn't expect it so quickly.

Just about 12 hours after Walker's speech ended, Republicans introduced a new mining bill.

It looks a lot like last session's version that failed by one vote in the Senate.

They say it could create thousands of jobs without hurting the environment.

"This is a real opportunity here in the State of Wisconsin for us to have a resurgence in manufacturing. We've always been a great manufacturing state. We make things. This gives us an opportunity to rejuvenate manufacturing here in the state of Wisconsin," said Sen. Tom Tiffany, (R) Hazelhurst.

Democratic Representative Janet Bewley covers the district where the Gogebic Taconite mine was proposed last year.

She feels Democrats were left out of the bill-writing process.

She hopes people in northern Wisconsin won't be left out of the public input process.

"One of the most important things we have to have is a hearing in the North. Not near the North. Not the quasi-North in Wausau. The real North, Ashland and Iron Counties where the mine exists," said Rep. Janet Bewley, (D) Ashland.

Republicans say the bill would give a more concrete timeline to companies applying for a mining permit.

The DNR would have up to 480 days to approve it.

The GOP hopes if the bill passes, it could convince the Gogebic company to come back to the state.

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