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Mining committee appointments changed

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MADISON (WSAU) The state Senate’s Republican leader reversed himself yesterday, and agreed to appoint the members that Democrats wanted to the Senate’s new mining committee.

Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald had rejected the Democrats’ appointments of Senators Bob Jauch, Tim Carpenter, and Jon Erpenbach. Fitzgerald only wanted two Democrats – Jauch and Jim Holperin – to join four Republicans on the panel. And Minority Leader Mark Miller accused Fitzgerald of pushing a partisan G-O-P strategy, as the panel seeks to shorten the time period for the state to consider applications for new mines.

But yesterday Fitzgerald agreed to Miller’s selections – and he did it quote, “in the efforts of moving forward with our shared goal of creating jobs in northern Wisconsin.” Miller said it’s only fair that the panel have more equal representation between the two parties.

Gogebic Taconite is waiting for a new state permit process before it proceeds with plans to develop a one-and-a-half billion dollar iron ore mine in Ashland and Iron counties.

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