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Controversial mining bill clears State Assembly

Published On: Mar 07 2013 11:00:51 PM CST
Updated On: Mar 07 2013 11:22:27 PM CST
MADISON, Wis. -

The Wisconsin Assembly gave the OK to a controversial mining bill Thursday night, clearing the path for a giant iron mine south of Lake Superior.

Debate went on for most of the day in the state Assembly. The chamber's approval was the last step before the bill can go to Gov. Scott Walker, who has promised to sign it into law.

The GOP contends the bill will ease the regulatory path for Gogebic Taconite's plans for a giant iron mine just south of Lake Superior and create jobs.

Environmentalists and Democrats contend the bill relaxes environmental standards and would open the door for pollution that would devastate the pristine area.

Republicans control the Assembly, which made the passage all but certain. They began debate at 9 a.m. Thursday, but Democrats delayed a vote for hours by repeatedly criticizing the bill as a corporate give-away.

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