NEW INFORMATION: Wisconsin committee OKs sand mine bill

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A legislative committee has approved a Republican bill that would prohibit local government officials from imposing new regulations on sand mines.

The Senate's mining committee passed the measure 3-2 on Wednesday. The vote clears the way for a full vote in the Senate.

The bill would bar local governments from imposing new zoning ordinances that are more restrictive than existing zoning rules on existing operations. The proposal also would exempt sand mines from any other new ordinance or license requirement if the mines are operating within the year preceding the ordinance or requirement's adoption.

Democratic Sens. Bob Jauch and John Lehman voted against the measure. Jauch contended the bill amounts to a pre-emption of local officials' authority and gives all the legal advantages to the sand mine industry.

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