Wis. GOP: Mining Reform Top Priority

By KBJR News 1

Wis. GOP: Mining Reform Top Priority

January 2, 2013 Updated Jan 2, 2013 at 12:55 PM CDT

Madison, WI (NNCNOW.com) --- Assembly Republican leaders in Wisconsin say the first bill they will introduce in the upcoming session will be legislation to reform the state's mining laws.

Speaker-elect Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and Majority Leader Scott Suder (R-Abbottsford) both announced their plans today to reform what they call outdated mining laws in Wisconsin.

“Mining reform is a top priority in the state Assembly,” said Speaker-elect Vos. “I’m hopeful all the interested parties can come together to protect our environment and make mining reform happen.”

"Our state has a rich history of mining," said Majority Leader Suder. "Democrats and Republicans agree we should update our mining laws to hopefully bring a new mine and thousands of jobs to Wisconsin."

Assembly Republicans plan to join Governor Scott Walker on his "Mining for Jobs" tour in Green Bay, Schofield and Milwaukee, visiting companies who are hoping to benefit from a new iron ore mine in Wisconsin.

"Today we have the opportunity to show the citizens of Wisconsin that mining reform could have a large economic impact not only in northern Wisconsin but also throughout the state," said Majority Leader Suder.

Lawmakers tried to push for mining reforms last session in order to help Gogebic Taconite begin operations in Ashland and Iron Counties, however the bill stalled in the Senate, prompting Gogebic Taconite to pull out.

Those opposed to the mine in Northern Wisconsin say that it would be devastating to the area's environment and ask that lawmakers write in legislation that would protect the region's wildlife.

The 2013-2014 legislative session officially begins Monday, January 7th.

Posted to the web by Krista Burns