Monday, March 5, 2012

Watch The Republicans Screw Wisconsin on WisEye

The Joint Finance Committee is debating the Assembly mining bill and a fake compromise offered by Republicans Darling and Vos. You can watch the debate live on WisEye.

Instead of compromising with Republican Senator Dale Schultz and Democrats by supporting the bipartisan Wisconsin Way Mining Reform Act which keeps our existing environmental protections (bulletpoint overview), the Republican leadership has offered another fake compromise. Schultz has rejected the fake compromise, Jauch plans to offer the WWMR Act to the JFC, and we're set for a major battle.

Rep. Cory Mason said in reference to language in the fake compromise, "Could this be drafted wrong?" As the language is "appalling" according to Sen. Bob Jauch. I missed the specific language they were referring to. Sen. Lena Taylor blasted the Republican leadership for drafting the new bill behind closed doors and giving the committee only a few hours to review it before a vote.

A less-talked about issue with the Assembly bill is how much money it allows a mining company to not pay the local communities. Sen. Jauch noted that the fake compromise continues to take significant amounts of money out of the local communities.

I'm 99% sure we're going to get new mining legislation whether we like it or not. We'll likely end up with something worse if we don't support the WWMR Act, since it's what has been offered by the opposition to the Assembly bill and the Republicans need this to have any appearance of trying to create jobs.

Senator Dale Schultz's passionate statement on why he crafted the WWMR Act with Jauch and how it compromises with the Republican leadership is a compelling read. I strongly encourage your indulgence.

Read A Plea for the Wisconsin Way Mining Reform Act for more information why we need the Wisconsin Way Mining Reform Act, the failure of the Republican leadership to draft legislation in the open, and the pressure they've put on Schultz to cave.

Call or email everyone: Schultz, Republican, Democrat, we need mining legislation that doesn't curb existing environmental protections, retains our level of input and review, and gives local communities the funds they deserve. We need the Wisconsin Way Mining Reform Act.

Update: 3:15pm The JFC has adjourned for an hour for the Democrats to review what they learned about the fake compromise. It took 3 hours for the Legislative Reference Bureau to walk the Democrats through all of the changes to the Assembly bill that they'll be expected to vote on when they come back. Sen. Jauch said that through the 3 hours the Democrats "could barely take a breath" with all of the questions they needed to ask to understand the changes.

Schultz has already rejected the fake compromise saying the pseudo contested cases it includes "is no compromise at all. In fact, it makes a bad idea worse."

Jauch submitted a substitute amendment for review by the JFC, which I believe is the Wisconisin Way Mining Reform Act.

At 3:35pm on WisEye Schultz and Jauch are talking about the bills.

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