State Senate leader expects March vote on mining

CREATED Jan. 7, 2013

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says he expects a March vote on a bill to overhaul state mining regulations.

Assembly Republican leaders have promised the first bill they'll introduce this session will deal with mining.

Fitzgerald, a Juneau Republican, told reporters Monday he expects the Senate will vote on the bill in early March.

He didn't offer any specifics about the bill's provisions. But he says it's going to be difficult to ever get northwestern Wisconsin's American Indian tribes on board and the bill will face inevitable court

Republicans have been working to streamline mining requirements to help Gogebic Taconite open an iron mine near Lake Superior.

They pushed a bill through the state Assembly last session but the measure died in the Senate.