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GOP And Mining Bill

(AP) Republican lawmakers plan to announce changes to the bill designed to make it easier to open a massive iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin.

Four Republicans working on the measure said they would announce the amendments at a Monday afternoon news conference. Senate and Assembly committees are scheduled to meet simultaneously on Wednesday to vote on advancing the bill.

Democrats have offered their own proposal that differs from the Republican version in several ways, including extending the time allowed for the Department of Natural Resources to make a decision on issuing a permit for a new mine.

Republicans are trying to pass the measure quickly to help Gogebic Taconite open the mine near Lake Superior. But opponents say there aren't enough environmental protections.

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