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Gov. Scott Walker plans to sign the newly-passed mining bill on Monday in Rhinelander, according to a news release from the governor's office.
The bill passed in the State Assembly late Thursday evening, 58 to 39, following a marathon day of more than nine hours of debate.
"I'm incredibly proud of the fact that the Assembly, after over a year's debate on a really important issue for Wisconsin's working families, was able to pass a great bill," said Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Burlington), following the bill's passage Thursday.
Republicans strongly supported the bill that will ease the path for a Florida company, Gogebic Taconite, to open a giant iron-ore mine, just south of Lake Superior. They say it will bring thousands of jobs to the state.
But opponents say the mine will devastate the environment. Many Democrats spoke against the bill Thursday and tried many times—unsuccessfully—to change it.
"I think if we were doing our job today we would have listened, we would have amended this bill, and we would have sent it back for some more work," said State Rep. Fred Clark (D-Baraboo) on Thursday.
Gov. Walker plans to sign the mining bill on Monday, March 11, at Oldenburg Group Inc. in Rhinelander at 1:10 p.m., according to the governor's office. A ceremonial signing in Milwaukee will take place later that day.
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