We the People

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Politics and civil commentary with community columnist John Eyster.

Senator Cullen was talking about the MINING BILLS on WCLO’s “YOUR TALK SHOW” yesterday.

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John Eyster
Friday, February 1, 2013

Senator Cullen was talking about the MINING BILLS on WCLO’s “YOUR TALK SHOW” yesterday.

Helpful to gain that update by Sen. Cullen. Did YOU hear that segment of "YOUR TALK SHOW"? If not, you can use this link to hear WCLO's podcast, “Senator Tim Cullen.” What is YOUR comment based on hearing Sen. Cullen on MINING in WI?

Also, do NOT miss reading the Janesville Gazette's editorial today, "Mining bill must protect environment"! See p. 4A today's Gazette. (I am not allowed to provide a link.) GLAD to see the Gazette's support of reasonable & appropriate changes in the GOP mining bill.

Yesterday morning I posted on my WE THE PEOPLE blog the fact that Sen. Cullen would be on WCLO’s “YOUR TALK SHOW.” That post summarized various factors in the on-going discussion about MINING in WISCONSIN. If you want to read that information, you can use this link, “MINING in WISCONSIN update – Sen. Cullen on WCLO this morning.”

Yesterday I learned that Sen. Cullen will be holding a PUBLIC HEARING on his MINING BILL LRB-0821/2 at 9 am on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at the AmericInn of Ashland, 3009 Lake Shore Drive E.

The Public Hearing will complement the Listening Session announced earlier by Sen. Jauch and Rep. Bewley in northern WI., “Jauch and Bewley Announce Northern Listening Session on Mining Bills.”

The original press release from Sen. Jauch’s office stated, “The event will be open to the public and all legislators are invited to attend. Senator Cullen, Senator Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center), and Representative Nick Milroy (D-Superior) have already indicated they will participate and Jauch expects more legislators to announce plans to join them in the coming days.” I am glad that our Senator Tim Cullen is NOW able to hold a PUBLIC HEARING because he has an actual MINING BILL LRB-0821/2.

Sen. Bob Jauch (D-25th State Senate District) of Poplar, WI has been an outspoken OPPONENT of the GOP’s mining bills. He represents the people who live in the area of the proposed mine in northern WI. If you want to read statements by Sen. Jauch on MINING BILLS, I suggest you use this link to access Sen. Jauch’s WI State Senate homepage and take advantage of reading his press releases about MINING in NORTHERN WI. Use the links under “Press Room.”

If you want to read more details on Sen. Cullen’s Mining bill, you can use this link to Cullen’s press release, “Cullen Unveils Mining Reform Legislation: Bill Maintains Environmental Standards, Allows for Collaboration with Federal Regulators."

If you want to read the actual drafted bill on “Regulation of Metallic Mining” for Sen. Cullen, you can use this link “LRB-0821/2.” The most valuable part of the document for me is the “Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau” which is the description of the contents of the bill in common English rather than "legalese."

To clarify the fact that previous hearings held by Sen. TIM CULLEN as chair of the committee during the DEM control of our WI State Senate were INFORMATIONAL HEARINGS is that there was no actual bill. NOW that there is a BILL, it is appropriate to hold a PUBLIC HEARING. Remember: The PUBLIC HEARING will be on Saturday, February 9 at 9 am at AmercInn in Ashland. That HEARING will take place in the NEIGHBORHOOD of the proposed mine.

The GOP has announced that it will be VOTING on its MINING BILL in both the Assembly and Senate committees next Wednesday, February 6, 2013. For details, read Ron Seeley’s article, “Committees to vote on mining bill Feb. 6” published by the Wisconsin State Journal on Tuesday, 1/29. That article reports that the GOP hopes to take the final vote on its mining bill by March.

Glad to read the Wisconsin State Journal’s report reflecting at least consideration of DEM critique of the GOP MINING BILL. You can use this link to read that article if you wish, “Assembly leaders offer concessions to Democrats on mining bill.”

Whether or not the GOP concessions have REAL MEANING as assessed by DEM members of the Assembly and Senate. Interpretation is reported by the article

Consider, for example, the following summary of Sen. Cullen’s evaluation cited in the article, “Cullen and Schultz discussed their impending bill during a press conference last month. Cullen said current law prohibits mining if the DNR finds a site 'unsuitable,' meaning that mining is 'reasonably expected' to destroy or irreparably damage specific ecological features. The Republicans' proposal would change that language, Cullen said, to deem a site unsuitable only if 'it is more probable than not' that mining would damage the site.

“Such changes in language, Cullen said, are more favorable to a mining company and could put the DNR in the position of having to grant exemptions from protections.”

The bottom-line spotlighted by Ron Seely in his article, “Democrat Cullen counters GOP bill with alternative mining proposal,” published on Tuesday, 1/22 by the Wisconsin State Journal, bills is still significant.

Seely wrote, “While both bills would give the state Department of Natural Resources a deadline for acting on a mine permit application, the proposals differ substantially in the amount of time given the agency, in the extent of change to environmental protections and in how much money would go to communities affected by mining.”

I hope that the combination of hearings on the MINING BILLS will result in CHANGES in the GOP MINING BILL and move our WI state legislature to vote on a MINING LAW which EFFECTIVELY protects our WI HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT. What do YOU hope for?

Here we go…

Mr. E.

Last updated: 9:24 am Monday, April 29, 2013

John W. Eyster lives in the Edgerton area. He is an adjunct professor assigned with the online/distance education faculty of Viterbo University, LaCrosse. He continues his personal mission supporting democracy/civics education in Wisconsin K-12 schools through Project Citizen, We the People, Discovering Democracy (Milton HS). John is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff or management.

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