Fitzgerald axes mining committee

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald issues this statement:

“A new mine in Northern Wisconsin has the potential to bring thousands of jobs and real economic relief to an area of Wisconsin that desperately needs it. Wisconsin needs jobs, not politics, and Republicans will continue to fight to get our economy back on its feet.

“Over the past five months, the Select Committee on Mining has taken a close look at a wide range of issues surrounding a potential mine in Northern Wisconsin, and they have heard from a wide range of voices. But we can’t allow the clock to run out on a project that could mean a generation of good-paying jobs and revitalize an entire local economy.

“Sadly, we’re stuck in a hyper-political world where the Democrats are likely to say and do anything to oppose this jobs bill, just for the sake of opposing it. I’m glad to be among leaders in Madison willing to work through distraction and discord to keep job creation as the top goal for Wisconsin.”

State Senator Neal Kedzie, who had chaired the Senate Select Commitee on Mining, tells WisconsinEye’s Steve Walters:

“A few months ago, a decision was made to create a special committee to review and discuss issues relating to Wisconsin’s mining law. Today, a decision has been made which reflects the majority of members in the Senate Republican caucus to change course and move the Assembly legislation and a Senate companion bill through another standing committee. As a caucus, we need to move forward on this issue before the legislative session comes to a close.”

Walters adds that Kedzie did not say whether he will support the Assembly-passed bill. Republicans control the Senate by a 17-16 margin, so all Republicans would have to vote for it to pass the Senate. No Democrats voted for the bill in the Assembly.

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