A new version of the iron mining bill will stick to many of the provisions included in the Joint Finance Committee's version crafted last year, but will add regulatory changes made in two bills last session as well as tweaking the contested case process.
Sen. Tom Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst, and Rep. Scott Suder, R-Abbotsford, said the bill would hold up Wisconsin's environmental standards and would focus on providing certainty for applicants. Tiffany also said that the bill could provide a "resurgence" in the state's manufacturing industry.
"This piece of legislation is going to be 21st Century mining legislation," Tiffany said.
The new bill, which is being put out today for co-sponsorship, would still retain the 420 day window for approval of a mining permit and the 12 month pre-application period that existed in JFC's version of the mining bill. However, the bill updates language to incorporate regulatory changes made in Act 118 and Act 167, which reworked wetlands and navigable waters regulations respectively.
In addition, the bill also retains the post-permit contested case hearing, but adds additional opportunities for contested case hearings in subsequent DNR decisions.
The bill still retains the 60/40 split between locals and the state on net proceeds tax revenue, but the 40 percent designated for the state will go into an economic development fund rather than the state's general fund. Sen. Tom Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst, said that mining-related projects will get priority in receiving that money.