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NEWS STORIES

Majority Leader Sounds Off on MiningSubmitted: 12/11/2012

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com

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ABBOTSFORD - It looks like the legislative discussion over mining is just getting started in the state.

Newly-elected representatives will be sworn in in January.

When they are, it will mean Republicans will have an even tighter hold on both houses of Wisconsin's legislature.

Abbotsford Representative Scott Suder (R) will return as Majority Leader.

He told us mining will be near the top of the list for the body to consider.

"One of the priorities for the State Legislature will be mining. We're working together, talking about mining, making sure that we come forward with a mining bill that both protects the environment as well as gives the opportunity for thousands of jobs statewide," he said.

A bill that would have relaxed the mine permitting process failed by one vote in the Senate earlier this year.

That meant Gogebic Taconite, which was pushing for an iron-ore mine in Iron and Ashland Counties, pulled its plans.

But now Republicans hold a three-vote majority in the State Senate.

Suder thinks passing a bill similar to the one last session would draw Gogebic back in.

"I do. I do. We're going to work with everyone involved - the DNR, not only companies that are interested, but we want to get it right. We're working with both Democrats and Republicans," he said.

Earlier this year, Democrats pushed hard to block sweeping mine permitting changes.


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