Kedzie monitors debate as mining bill heads to Senate
ELKHORN Though a bill that’s intended to reform the permitting process for iron mines passed on a 59-36 party-line vote in the Republican-controlled the state Assembly last week, Neal Kedzie (R-Elkhorn), the chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Mining Jobs, knows he faces different circumstances as the bill now heads to the Senate, where Republicans hold a one-vote margin.
In a Wisconsin State Journal story Sunday by Ron Seely, Kedzie indicated he would be willing to take a more open and bipartisan approach to getting approval votes on a bill that would open the way for the construction of a $1.5 billion open-pit iron mine in northern Wisconsin.
Though proponents of the bill say it would positively impact the economy with a boost of some 700 jobs, many who oppose the legislation have voiced concerns over the bill’s environmental impact on air and water quality to the area.
Kedzie said he’s willing to look at changes to the bill, and promises to work with Senate Democrats and the Bad River Chippewa, whose reservation is located downriver of the proposed mine.