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Assembly will take up controversial mining bill March 7


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The state Assembly will act a week from Thursday on the mining incentive bill that’s designed to let Gogebic Taconite open a new iron ore mine in Ashland and Iron counties.

GOP Assembly Speaker Robin Vos told reporters Thursday he would expect a debate to begin next Thursday morning – and the house would spend most of the day on the package.

It could be the biggest test yet of an agreement by both sides not to drag out the proceedings, so a final vote’s taken in the middle of the night.  

Wednesday, senators held a nine-hour debate before taking a final vote around the mid-evening.

The bill sets time limits for state approval of mining permits, with the goal of creating hundreds of new jobs.

Democrats said it would lead to heavy pollution while relaxing environmental protections and ending the public’s ability to object to the state’s mining decisions before permits are issued.