Rep. Sinicki’s statement about passage of mining bill by Wisconsin Assembly

March 8, 2013

Released March 6, 2013

“I’m so disappointed that Assembly Republicans passed SB 1 this evening after refusing to really consider any of 17 amendments Democrats offered.  Their past claims of bipartisanship sound pretty hollow today. Our amendments would have created real environmental protections in the bill, as well as added provisions to help insure Wisconsin workers get a fair shot at jobs created by a mine in their own state.

“Republicans passed this bill even as complaints surfaced about the Gogebic Taconite owner’s environmental record at his Illinois coal mines.  His managers there have violated the effluent standards in their wastewater permit 53 times in three years, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency records.  For Wisconsin Republicans to go ahead and pass SB 1 for the benefit of the same unreliable mine owner is reckless and knowingly irresponsible.

“All their promises of jobs for Wisconsinites sound pretty hollow, too.  Those jobs could easily go to out-of-staters, like the Marquette Interchange jobs went to many, many Illinois workers.  No state can tell a company to hire specific categories of workers; it’s against federal law.  So how can Republicans make these assurances?  I believe they’d tell Wisconsin workers anything just to get this bill through.

“And, we know how bogged down projects like this can get as they inch through the bureaucracy and the courts.  Any real jobs are a long ways off, if they materialize at all.

“Governor Walker and his legislators will have a lot to answer for after shoving SB 1 through this Legislature.”

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