Wis. GOP leaders open to hearings in mine process - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wis. GOP leaders open to hearings in mine process

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   MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Republican leaders say they're open to revising a contentious mining permit bill to allow public challenges if the compromise convinces a key swing senator to vote for the measure.

   Assembly Republicans have passed a bill that calls for state regulators to approve an iron mine permit application within a year. The bill also eliminates contested case hearings, proceedings conservationists often use to challenge permitting decisions.

   Republicans hold only a one-vote majority in the Senate. Republican Senator Dale Schultz has said he can't support the measure unless it restores the hearings and upholds environmental standards.

   Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald and his brother, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, both said Friday they would be open to a version of the hearings that don't delay a permit decision.

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