The state Assembly plans to vote next week on passing a bill opposed by environmentalists and tribal leaders that would make it easier for an iron ore mine to open in northern Wisconsin near Lake Superior.
Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald said in a statement Tuesday that nothing is definite but he would like to vote on the bill on Jan. 19. A public hearing in Hurley on the bill is set for Wednesday.
Passing the iron mining bill was one of the top priorities of Republicans who control the Legislature, as well as Gov. Scott Walker.
Backers say the estimated 700 jobs it will create are sorely needed in an economically depressed part of the state, while opponents express concerns over its environmental impact on the pristine Penokee Hills.