Scott Fitzgerald put a big kink in passing a mining bill when he disbanded the mining bill committee Wednesday. The committee was debating a slightly better version of the Assembly bill. Disbanding the committee has shelved any hopes of a better bill than the Assembly's mining bill. However, shutting out debate on the bill will put some Republicans in a tough spot.
Some Republicans have resisted supporting the Assembly's mining bill. Even the Journal Sentinel is against the bill. In particular, Dale Schultz has publicly stated that he cannot vote for the Assembly's bill. That means, without any other Republican defectors, the vote would be 17-16 against the bill.
Any constituent of Dale Schultz should contact him and ask him to reject the Assembly's mining bill or any bill that doesn't receive appropriate public comment.
Scott Fitzgerald says he hasn't counted votes yet, which means he doesn't yet have enough. Disbanding the committee was a horrible strategic mistake without enough votes to pass on his own. You can bet the pressure will be on Schultz to cave into his demands. If Schultz sticks to facts and reason, it'll be a huge blow to Fitzgerald who is facing a recall election later this year.
Given that we won't get a better bill, and the Republicans hope to ram it through, our chance is now to stop the bill. Fitzgerald has cancelled the public hearings in Platteville set for Friday and Ashland, so few opportunities remain.
The Republicans are using this bill as their one major jobs plan. Really?! Mining is the future of Wisconsin jobs? This is the best jobs plan they could come up with? You've got to be kidding. The future of Wisconsin jobs is in high-tech, biotech, and high-tech manufacturing, not mining.