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Thursday, January 26, 2012

 4:40 PM 

GOP making the case for the need for mining jobs

Rep. Mike Kuglitsch, R-New Berlin, took the opportunity to speak to the body for the first time to address what he saw in Hurley when he went there for the hearings held by the Committee on Jobs, Economy and Small Business. Kuglistch said it was obvious the people of the community desperately wanted the mine and supported the bill to make that happen.

"This was evident with the many signs that displayed: 'Mining: Our history, our culture, our future," Kuglitsch said. He also said residents shouldn't have to move away from the area to find jobs and that they need to "put the state to work."

Rep. Jeff Stone, R-Greendale, is making similar points on how the bill would help not only Hurley, but those employed by mining equipment manufacturers.

"Those are jobs for people in the most distressed areas of our state and it's a benefit to everybody in this room when we take someone who can't get a family supporting job and get them on that ladder...and we don't have to provide them services from the state."

Tim Sullivan, former Bucyrus CEO and current head of the Wisconsin Mining Association, said during a press conference when the bill was first unveiled that while the bill may not create more jobs for those manufacturers, it would preserve existing jobs.

Stone also shot back at Rep. Louis Molepske Jr., D-Stevens Point, who said those up in the north don't want the bill as written. Stone said the people in the area want the bill and that committee members took those concerns and made the bill better through amendments.


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