Sen. Tim Cullen to join mining bill listening session in Ashland
MADISON Sen. Tim Cullen is continuing his crusade to change the Republican-backed mining bill.
Cullen, D-Janesville, announced Friday that he would join a listening session in Ashland on Saturday, Feb. 9.
Sens. Bob Jauch, D-Poplar, and Rep. Janet Bewley, D-Ashland, announced the session and said they expected more legislators to join them, including Sen. Dale Schultz, R-Richland Center.
The Democratic legislators said the Republicans have indicated they will not hold a hearing near the site of the proposed Gogebic Taconite mine.
Cullen said his hearing would scrutinize the weaknesses of the Republican bill, known as SB1.
Cullen charged Friday that SB1 would not protect the environment, as its supporters claim. He pointed to provisions in the bill that:
-- Direct the state Department of Natural Resources to presume that filling wetlands is necessary for iron mining.
-- Broaden the scope of exemptions that are permissible throughout the permitting process.
-- Allow mining companies to eliminate or cause significant adverse impacts to streams, rivers and lakes.
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald also issued a statement Friday, charging “scare tactics and misinformation” by SB1’s opponents.
“A vote against this bill is a vote against jobs. It’s that simple,” Fitzgerald said.
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