September 2, 2014

Dems final mine hearing

A Democrat led committee will hold its final hearing on mining Thursday. State Senator Tim Cullen is the Janesville Democrat who’s chaired the committees since his party assumed control in the Senate following recalls earlier this year. He said the mining bill which failed last session allocated too little tax revenue to local units of government which would be impacted by mining. “I think most, if not all the money ought to stay in the area, and little if any ought to go to the state,” said Cullen, who expects to hear from some local officials.

Cullen also believes there were some unrealistic time frames being discussed last session. “Our committee has learned that not in Minnesota, not in Michigan, not anywhere do you get a permit for a mine of the size that they’re talking about up north any way close to a year or two,” he said. “It’s a whole lot closer to a five or six-year process.”

A bill to clear the way for an iron mine in northern Wisconsin failed in the state Senate, and is a priority for Governor Scott Walker and Republicans who now control the legislature.