Wisconsin News

Wisconsin GOP splits over mining bill

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Competing Republican bills to jumpstart a northwestern Wisconsin iron mine have emerged in the state Senate, jeopardizing the chances of anything passing before the legislative session ends next month.

Sen. Neal Kedzie has been leading a committee studying mining issues for the last few months. The committee finally released a bill to streamline the state's permitting process Monday.

Assembly Republicans, meanwhile, passed their own mining bill last month. Now a group of Senate Republicans, including Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, want to drop Kedzie's bill and pass the Assembly's version.

Fitzgerald and his group wrote in a memo to their colleagues Wednesday that the Assembly version has been carefully vetted and the time has come to move forward.

A message left at Kedzie's office Wednesday morning wasn't immediately returned.

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