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State Assembly passes mining bill, now heads to Gov. Walker


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The state Assembly has passed the controversial Republican led mining bill.

The measure passed 58-39 and Gov. Scott Walker has promised to sign it into law. Debate began this morning on the mining bill that would streamline the state's approval process. 

Democratic amendments to Wisconsin’s mining incentive bill were voted down one by one.

Some of the amendments called for mandatory public hearings on mining applications – plus the opportunity to challenge state decisions before permits are issued, which Republicans say would cause unnecessary delays.

Other amendments include a one-year waiting period for mining applications, so prospective companies can do preliminary environmental work before they apply.

The bill was written specifically for the interest of Gogebic Taconite. 

Governor Walker thanked lawmakers for their work and released a statement.

"On behalf of the unemployed skilled workers in our state who will benefit from the thousands of mining-related jobs over the next few years, I say thank you for passing a way to streamline the process for safe and environmentally sound mining in Wisconsin" Governor Walker said.