UPDATE: Assembly approves mining bill - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: Assembly approves mining bill


MADISON (WKOW) -- The GOP mining bill is now on its way to Governor Scott Walker.  The Assembly approved the measure Thursday night after about 9 hours of debate.

Democrats offered 19 amendments, but Republicans voted against all of them. The bill allows Gogebic Taconite to open an iron ore mine near Lake Superior. Republicans say they weren't deterred by potential lawsuits that could tie up the mine in court.

"We are never going to not pass legislation because somebody threatens to sue. We do everything we possibly can to make the bill constitutional, to ensure that it protects the environment and that it will actually create jobs," Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says. "I think it accomplishes all 3 goals."

Democrats on the other hand are frustrated with Thursday's results.

"I'd much rather see us putting our policy and our effort and our investment into projects that we know are going to yield results, not hail Mary passes," Representative Fred Clark says.

The bill previously passed the Senate. Governor Walker has promised to sign it.


MADISON (WKOW) -- The state Assembly approved the Republican mining bill Thursday night, sending the bill to Go. Scott Walker.

The measure passed on a 58-39 vote.

Go. Walker has promised to sign the bill into law.

The legislation allows Gogebic Taconite to open an iron ore mine near Lake Superior. Republicans say it will create hundreds of jobs. Democrats are concerned about the mine's environmental impact.


MADISON (WKOW) – The state Assembly is preparing for the last legislative debate on Republicans' polarizing mining legislation.

The Assembly's Republican leaders have scheduled the debate to begin at 9 a.m. on Thursday.

Republicans anticipate minority Democrats will try to delay the final vote and hope the early start time will help them avoid an all-night session.

The bill would loosen the state's mining regulations to help Gogebic Taconite dig a huge open-pit iron mine just south of Lake Superior.

Republican supporters say the mine will create thousands of jobs, but opponents say the bill would open the door to devastating pollution.

Assembly approval would send the bill to Go. Scott Walker for his signature, the last step before it would become law.

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