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Mine access restriction, high school math and science bills pass Assembly

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The Wisconsin Assembly sent two major bills to Governor Scott Walker during a 12-hour session that included a number of partisan squabbles. 

The lower house gave final legislative approval to a compromise that limits public access to some, but not all of the recreational land where Gogebic Taconite is conducting tests for its proposed iron ore mine. Republicans pushed the bill through on a 54-39 party line vote. 

Democrats say it's still too restrictive. 

The Assembly also sent Walker a new requirement that high school students take three credits each of math and science instead of the present two, with more flexibility for students in career and technical education programs.  

The big squabble was over a bill to create a specialized pro-life license plate. Democrats accused majority Republicans of flinching on a deal from earlier Thursday evening, in which the DOT instead of the Legislature would have decided which groups are qualified to benefit from specialized license plates. 

Majority Leader Bill Kramer blamed a tweet from Madison Democrat Chris Taylor for the breakdown. The Republican majority then approved the "Choose Life" license plate on a party line vote.

Proceeds would go to Wisconsin Family Action and Pro-Life Wisconsin for adoption programs at crisis pregnancy centers.

Democrats also wanted a vote on a resolution to honor the 26 people who died at last year's Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Connecticut, but GOP leaders failed to put it up. The Senate unanimously passed it last fall.  

The Assembly meeting was the last of the year, except for a special session called Thursday to adjust the state's involvement in Obamacare.

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