State Assembly set to take up mining bill

MADISON (AP) -- The state Assembly is set to take up a contentious bill that would streamline Wisconsin's mining permit process.

The Republican measure is designed to help Gogebic Taconite open an iron mine just south of Lake Superior. The company has promised the project will create hundreds of jobs, but environmentalists fear the mine would pollute one of the most pristine areas in the state.

Gov. Scott Walker called on the Legislature to pass the measure during his State of the State address Wednesday night. The Assembly is set to take up the bill Thursday. Republicans control the Assembly, making passage all but certain.

It's unclear whether the legislation has enough support to pass the Senate, though. Republicans hold only a one-vote majority in that house.