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UPDATE: GOP Expects Mining Bill Vote in March

UPDATED Monday, January 7, 2013 --- 12:05 p.m.

Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says he expects a March vote on a bill to overhaul state mining regulations.

Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said Monday that he expects the bill to be introduced late next week with hearings to follow later in January. Vos would not say if those hearings will be in northern Wisconsin near Lake Superior where an iron ore mine is proposed.

Vos says he expects a vote on the bill in the spring.

Fitzgerald, a Juneau Republican, didn't offer any specifics about what would be in the bill. Both he and Vos spoke about it at separate news conferences.

Fitzgerald says it's going to be difficult to ever get northwestern Wisconsin's American Indian tribes on board and the bill will face inevitable court challenges.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press
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Posted Wednesday, January 3, 2013 --- 11:15 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Assembly Republican leaders say the first bill they'll introduce this session will reform Wisconsin's mining laws.

Speaker Robin Vos and Majority Leader Scott Suder released a statement Wednesday calling the bill a top priority. They said the measure will help create thousands of jobs but didn't offer any details on what changes the bill might make.

Suder said in an interview Republicans are using a version of a mining reform bill the Legislature's budget committee approved last March as a starting point but discussions are ongoing.

Vos and Suder's announcement came as Republican Gov. Scott Walker hit the road to stump for mining reform at state businesses.

The GOP has been working for the last year to help Gogebic Taconite open a huge iron mine near Lake Superior.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


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