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Mining Law Reform Top of List for State Republicans

Speaker-elect Robin Vos plans to introduce mining law reform as his first order of business when the state Legislature reconvenes later this month.

Calling it "a top priority" when the state Legislature officially returns to work later this month, Assembly Speaker-elect Robin Vos (R-Rochester) will make mining law reform the first bill introduced during the new session.

Vos and Majority Leader Scott Suder (R-Abbottsford) say reform is needed to bring mining back to the state while also protecting the environment.

“Mining reform is a top priority in the state Assembly,” Vos said in a press release. “I’m hopeful all the interested parties can come together to protect our environment and make mining reform happen.”

Vos and Suder joined Gov. Scott Walker Wednesday as he visited companies in Green Bay, Milwaukee and Schofield that would directly benefit from the mining industry's return to Wisconsin.

Last year, a mining bill was defeated in the state Senate in a 17-16 vote, mostly along party lines. Shortly thereafter, Gogebic Taconite, the company behind the proposed $1.5 billion open pit iron ore mine near Ashland, let lawmakers know they were no longer interested in setting up shop in the Dairy State.

But now, Republicans are pushing to re-open the debate, and Walker is supporting the move, according to a story from WBAY-TV.

While in Green Bay at Valley Plating and Fabricating, a business that supplies structures for mining, the governor said the new mining bill is good for business and the environment.

"The process should be one where it's clearly defined, where it's a streamlined process and it's one that still protects clean air, clean land, clean water," Walker is quoted as saying.

Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) released a statement saying he might support a new mining bill as long as the state's environment — vital for tourism and agriculture — is protected.

"We need to make sure the bill creates mining jobs and also protects our natural resources, as well as our tourism and agricultural economies that are so vital to Wisconsin," he said.

Lyle Ruble January 05, 2013 at 10:04 PM
@Anti-Alinsky....I don't think most Tea Party, Republicans or conservatives believe or support the garbage that people like WPM1488 advocates. I view the Tea Party Movement as singularly libertarian in nature. Anyone who makes the mistake and believes all conservatives are the same doesn't understand just as all liberals aren't the same.
The Anti-Alinsky January 06, 2013 at 12:47 AM
Thank you Lyle. That's exactly my point. Now can you get Dirk to understand that?
Steve ® January 06, 2013 at 04:57 AM
Good luck. He is against jobs and progress. Drill holes my friends.
Bren January 06, 2013 at 10:13 PM
According to the recent Putnam/Campbell study (published 2011), the Tea Party is authoritarian, not libertarian. Some "highlights" from the study: "So what do Tea Partiers have in common? They are overwhelmingly white, but even compared to other white Republicans, they had a low regard for immigrants and blacks long before Barack Obama was president, and they still do." The study was based on findings gleaned from updating an earlier political science study conducted before the birth of the Tea Party. You can read more here: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/intersection/2011/08/17/new-data-tea-party-is-authoritarian-not-libertarian/#.UOn2Am_LQbo
The Anti-Alinsky January 07, 2013 at 03:14 AM
Bren, did you actually read the Times article itself? ( http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/17/opinion/crashing-the-tea-party.html ) They are basing their "conclusions" on opinions of their interviewees. To begin their analysis they write: "...As a result, we can look at what people told us, long before there was a Tea Party, to predict who would become a Tea Party supporter five years later..." Unless a large part of their interviewees are Tea Partiers, there is no way they can get a true prediction, only an impression of what makes up a Tea Partier. They then proceed with: "...concern over big government is hardly the only or even the most important predictor of Tea Party support among voters..." "...they had a low regard for immigrants and blacks long before Barack Obama was president, and they still do..." "...the strongest predictor of being a Tea Party supporter today was a desire, back in 2006, to see religion play a prominent role in politics..." "...On everything but the size of government, Tea Party supporters are increasingly out of step with most Americans, even many Republicans..." Considering their sources are simply opinions, they suppose too much. From my experience, Tea Partiers support exactly what they advertise, smaller government & lower taxes. No, I am not a member, don't go to all the events or know all members. But I have had enough exposure to confidently say Putnam and Campbell are wrong.

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