MADISON—“This afternoon we’re releasing the language of the Wisconsin Way Mining Reform Act.

This bill represents the best of Wisconsin by creating reasonable and responsible mining reforms, which encourage mining job creation and balance the conservation traditions of our state.

We believe some of our friends and colleagues may have jumped the gun before they had a chance to read our draft language.  Given the opportunity to read the bills side by side, we believe most folks will agree our compromise legislation is the best way forward.

We said from the start this bill contains ideas from a broad spectrum of input.  However, this bill is not identical to the Assembly substitute as some have suggested.  In fact, we only borrow two identical parts from the Assembly sub; the definition of ferrous mining and ferrous minerals, and not including the 140 pages of environmental changes which were never expressed to us as being asked for by the mining industry.  In every other way, our bill is unique to the Assembly sub.

In addition, in consulting with the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, we believe the analysis will show no new net tax increase over what the Assembly has purposed.  One may conclude our bill has an overall one time fee increase of $75,000.00, but this is a far cry from a tax increase on a multi-billion dollar project.
We look forward to working with our legislative colleagues to pass a mining reform bill which is pro jobs and preserves our conservation heritage.”
** It should be noted Sec. 6 in this draft will be tweaked to reflect the intent of the authors to have the $5 million payments be restricted to five years NOT into perpetuity.  There may also be other minor changes to Sec. 6, however in the interest in time and openness, we wanted to release what we have.**