UPDATE: 2/27/13 at 9:30 p.m.'
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The state Senate has approved a Republican bill that would dramatically overhaul Wisconsin's mining regulations.
The measure is designed to ease the regulatory path for Gogebic Taconite's plans for a huge iron mine in the Penokee Hills just south of Lake Superior.
The GOP contends the mine would create hundreds of jobs. Minority Democrats counter the bill would relax environmental protections and open the door to pollution that would devastate the pristine region.
The Republican-controlled Senate approved the bill 17-16 Wednesday after nearly nine hours of debate. The state Assembly is expected to take the bill up next week. Republicans control that house as well. Approval there would send the measure on to Gov. Scott Walker for his signature.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- It looks like the state Senate debate on a divisive Republican bill that would overhaul Wisconsin's mining regulations is going to stretch on for hours.
Minority Democrats have proposed a dozen amendments. They've spent an hour and a half debating the first one and it was unclear when the body might vote on it. Republicans control the chamber, which means all the Democratic changes are almost certainly doomed.
The bill is designed to ease the regulatory path for a huge iron mine near Lake Superior. Republicans maintain the mine will create hundreds of jobs. Democrats and conservationists contend the bill relaxes environmental protections.
Senate approval would send the bill to the Republican-controlled Assembly. That chamber is expected to pass the measure next week and send it to Gov. Scott Walker.
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