Wis. Democrats plan mining listening session

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Democrats are planning their own public hearing in northwestern Wisconsin on a Republican bill that would overhaul the state's mining regulations.

The GOP hopes the bill will persuade Gogebic Taconite to open a giant iron mine just south of Lake Superior. Supporters say the mine would help create hundreds of jobs. Opponents say it would pollute the pristine region.

The only public hearing Republicans have held on the bill came last month in Madison. Sen. Bob Jauch of Poplar and Rep. Janet Bewley say people who live near the mine site haven't been heard. They've planned their own hearing Saturday at an Ashland hotel.

Republicans maintain the bill's provisions have been thoroughly vetted in multiple hearings over the last year and a half.

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