GOP sulfide mining bill expected to see at least one amendment

QUORUM CALL

The GOP sulfide mining bill is expected to see at least one amendment when it’s taken up on the Assembly floor later today.

Bill managers say the changes are expected to shore up Republican Senate support for the bill following co-author Sen. Tom Tiffany telling WisPolitics.com earlier this week he was one vote short.

An initial draft of the amendment from fellow co-author Rep. Rob Hutton’s office showed four different changes, including delaying the bill’s implementation for six months after the bill’s signed to give local governments time to evaluate their own mining ordinances.

It would also clarify language surrounding bulk sampling, as well as add further language regarding the proposed technology to be used at the mining site. And it would alter language surrounding mining operations during a contested case hearing.

Those changes are enough for Sen. Luther Olsen to get behind the bill, according to an Olsen spokeswoman.

The Ripon Republican was one of the bill holdouts Tiffany identified earlier this week.

“Yes, the amendment that the Assembly is taking up today addresses most of the concerns Senator Olsen had with AB 499,” the spokeswoman said in an email this afternoon. “He plans to vote in favor of the bill as amended once it reaches the Senate floor.”

The other GOP senators Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst, said he hadn’t yet received commitments on the bill from were Sens. Sheila Harsdorf, of River Falls; and Jerry Petrowski, of Marathon.

Meanwhile, State Sen. Rob Cowles, R-Green Bay, told a local radio show late last week he is unlikely to support the bill.

Those three did not return requests for comment from WisPolitics.com this afternoon. But Vos, R-Rochester, and Hutton, R-Brookfield, both said before the floor session Petrowski has been working with the bill authors on the amendments.

See the amendment

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