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Larson: Work Must Continue On Mining Bill

Oak Creek's state senator pushes for compromise day after Senate rejects legislation.

A day after and Gogebic Taconite announced it is abandoning plans for a $1.5 billion mine, state Sen. Chris Larson still held out hope that a bipartisan mining proposal could proceed.

Larson released a statement Wednesday in which he criticized Republicans and said legislators must continue to work toward a compromise, even if a bill can't be adopted by the time the Legislative session ends March 15.

"Despite the actions of Republicans, a compromise can and must be reached," he said. "We still have the opportunity to move Wisconsin forward by passing legislation that will make our state an attractive investment for all mining companies. It's time to end the mine games. The majority in the Senate and I stand ready to pass a responsible, long-term compromise.

"A bipartisan bill is still available that will give prospective companies the necessary tools to create much-needed jobs across the state. I have signed on in support of this proposal that respects our workers, prospective businesses, and culture of conservation."

Click here to read the whole statement.

Before Tuesday's Senate vote, Republican state Rep. Mark Honadel and called on Democratic senators from southeastern Wisconsin to put politics aside and step up on a solution. He said thousands of jobs in mining equipment in this area are at stake, in addition to the jobs that would be created by the Gogebic Taconite mine.

Honadel was an advocate of a bill, which aimed to streamline the mining permit process, that passed the Assembly in January. But it ran into opposition in the Senate, and the latest version was rejected by senators 17-16 Tuesday. Republican Dale Schultz voted with all 16 Democrats in opposition to the bill.

Schultz and state Sen. Bob Jauch have floated an alternative proposal, which Larson referred to in his statement, but it has failed to gain any traction in the Legislature.

The Senate sent the bill it voted down Tuesday to a legislative committee for more work.

Mark B March 09, 2012 at 01:45 AM
AFSCME, WEAC, ACLU....
oak creek resident March 09, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Whatever Patricia. Lets look at the facts - both Michigan and Minnestoa, heavy touristy areas themselves, have mining operations. Wisconsin does not. What is the difference? Duh - the most strict and asinine regulations and penalties.
The real OC March 09, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Senator Larson...the goal isn't for you to create a lousy mining bill...the goal is 2300 mining jobs! Get it done!
Chenzo March 12, 2012 at 12:25 AM
Larson is just like his counterpart in the north side of Milwaukee. The one who called for a boycott of Andys gas station, because of his donation to Walker. Or the boycott of buying paper products from a company that employs hundreds of Union workers. Right here in Wisconsin. We truly are in trouble with these morons in office.
Chenzo March 12, 2012 at 12:27 AM
Maybe Larson should run back to Illinois........ Permanently!!

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