For the past month, the Wisconsin Senate has held the reins on mining reform, working off of the bill passed by the Assembly (AB 426) and various Senate versions, in an effort to garner 17 votes. The Joint Finance Committee has scheduled an executive session on both the Senate and Assembly bills for Monday, March 5. Once a bill is voted out of committee, it can be placed on the floor calendar at any time.
AB 426 passed on a party line vote in the Assembly, and it was assumed that passage in the Senate would happen that way as well. However, Sen. Dale Schultz, R- Richland Center, has said that he will not vote for the Assembly bill. On Wednesday, JFC Co-chairs Rep. Robin Vos ( R-Rochester) and Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) released a list of proposed changes to the bill, but shortly thereafter Schultz held a press conference rejecting their offer.