[Madison, WI] – During today’s Assembly floor session, State Representative Calvin Callahan (R-Tomahawk) voted in support of Assembly Bill (AB) 682, which will help to restart the pulp and paper mills in Wisconsin Rapids and Park Falls. According to the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association, the closure of these two mills (along with a third located in Duluth, Minnesota) has resulted in the loss of 1,300 jobs at the mills and negatively impacted 14,000 individuals and businesses who supply and service the mills. The vote on AB 682 in the Assembly Committee on Forestry, Parks, and Outdoor Recreation, prior to the floor session, was unanimous.
“The Assembly has found and passed a bipartisan solution that we believe will get the Northwoods forestry economy back in gear,” stated Rep. Callahan. “By providing funding to the Wisconsin Rapids mill to keep it semi-operational through the winter and for Park Falls in a loan to help purchase the mill for an organization that will make it operational again, I believe this is a proposal we can use to save jobs and livelihoods.”
AB 682 is the second “Mill Bill” to come before the full Assembly for consideration. Earlier this session, AB 367 was passed by both the Assembly and Senate, which would have allocated federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars as relief for the mills. Governor Evers ultimately vetoed AB 367.
“I hope Governor Evers sees the bipartisan support we have gathered for this important proposal,” continued Rep. Callahan. “AB 682 is the best path forward to ensuring that we protect northern Wisconsinites’ jobs and families, and save the logging industry.”
AB 682 now heads to the State Senate for their consideration.