Jobs Committee Favors Mine Bill

1/25/12 – The state Assembly Jobs Committee voted 9-to-5 Tuesday in favor of a bill that tries to make it easier for a new iron ore mine to open in far northern Wisconsin. The package would streamline the process of getting state permits for iron ore mines both now and in the future. And the panel okay-ed several changes suggested by members of both parties. Local communities would get a bigger-than-expected share of tax revenues from the materials that are mined. The limit on application fees would be raised from one-point-one million dollars to two-million. There would be assurances that mining projects would follow the terms of the Great Lakes water protection agreement. And Indian tribes near proposed mines would receive copies of permit applications. But that wasn’t enough for Stevens Point Democrat Lou Molepske. He wanted tribes at the table when mining decisions are being made. But Greendale Republican Jeff Stone said it’s not the government’s responsibility to represent Indian tribes – and they can pursue their own interests on the subject. The 180-plus page bill now goes to the full Assembly for a final vote