Site of mining hearings again under contentionWisconsin Legislature
-- -- Just like a year ago, concerns are being raised over the locations of public hearings for the bill to encourage mining in Wisconsin.
ASHLAND - Just like a year ago, concerns are being raised over the locations of public hearings for the bill to encourage mining in Wisconsin.
Two Democrats who represent the place where Republicans hope Gogebic Taconite will reconsider an iron ore mine want a hearing held there. Ashland state Assemblywoman Janet Bewley and Poplar state Senator Bob Jauch say those affected by a new mine should not have to drive hundreds of miles to have their say – like they did 13 months ago before a GOP committee chair held an emotional hearing in Hurley, where 600 people most affected by the mine expressed their hopes-and-fears.
An Assembly panel initially chose West Allis for the first hearing on last year’s mining bill, saying Milwaukee’s mining equipment makers would be heavily affected. But the former head of the Assembly jobs panel later granted residents’ requests to hold a hearing in the north as well. Bewley also said this week’s Republican package should get a thorough review, just like new legislation. The bill is similar to what the Senate rejected last time by one vote – but it does include a number of technical changes, and most officials from the governor-on-down believe there will be more changes before all’s said and done.