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Mining again on Superior Days agenda this year
Iron ore mining legislation is back on the agenda for next month’s Superior Days citizen lobbying session in Madison. Jessica Hamilton has that story.
Democratic State Senator Bob Jauch of Poplar says the discussion of mining this year is going to be different than the last year. He hopes it’ll deal with the options for a mine permitting process rather than the politics of mining. Jauch says this session the public will have two choices.
“The public will have the opportunity to compare a bill written by and for a coal company in West Virginia or a bill that reforms and streamlines the process that was written by Senator Collin’s bipartisan committee.”
Cullen’s committee had a Democratic majority, while last year’s Assembly Mining Committee was lead by Republicans. This session, Republicans are back in control.
Bayfield Mayor Larry McDonald says usually Superior Days issues aren’t controversial, but he says not everyone agrees on a new mining bill.
“One of the things that’s going to be interesting is the potential the discussion of mining permitting, I know there are some folks dead set against and some of them absolutely wanting it to happen.”
Representative Nick Milroy of Superior says all the issues are important to the North’s economy.
“We can improve our school funding, and improve our infrastructure and even if we can site a mine in northern Wisconsin without harming the environment, you know those are all things that could potentially be opportunities for northern Wisconsin.”
State Representative Janet Bewley of Ashland thinks the issue of mining at Superior days will broaden the view point for future legislation of mining in Wisconsin.
“The expectation is that the process of crafting legislation is going to be one that will incorporate and I would welcome the kind of input that people that will give through the Superior Days initiative. Being able to hear from the people themselves about what they think needs to be in a mining bill, I think is critical to good law making.”
Most of the other issues for next month’s Superior Days citizen lobbying session in Madison are set.
Douglas County Administrator Andy Lisak says recent planning meetings have helped to produce what he thinks could be the final list of issues.
“Working with our local extension office takes those issues and the committee goes through those issues to see if they meet the criteria and to determine if the issue, any respective issue is a legislative issue of an agency issues or both.”
The top four legislative issues to be lobbied at this year’s Superior Days includes mining in northern Wisconsin, Highway 2 expansion from Hurley to Superior, continued support for northwest Wisconsin education and revenue sharing for towns and cities.
Bewley says school funding is an ongoing issue and she hopes Superior Days will help fix the formula for how money is distributed in northern Wisconsin.
“We have always said well we need to fix the funding, we need to fix how we go about paying for education so that all students, all kids can have a quality education.”
Bayfield Mayor McDonald says there are certain issues raised every year and that still need to be addressed.
“Well I know the Highway 2 expansion will come up and Highway 53 into intersection safety.”
Superior Days is scheduled for Feburary 19 and 20.Previous KUWS Articles:
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