Senate committee schedules meeting to discuss mining special sessionWisconsin News
Gov. Scott Walker has said he would consider a special session to encourage senators to change their minds about a mining bill that was voted down a week ago.
A Wisconsin Senate committee has scheduled a meeting for Monday, March 19, to discuss the consideration of a mining bill during a possible special session.
The Legislature’s regular two-year session ends on Thursday, March 15. Gov. Scott Walker has said he would consider a special session to encourage senators to change their minds about a mining bill that was voted down a week ago.
After that vote, Gogebic Taconite scrapped plans to build a large open-pit iron ore mine in Ashland and Iron counties. The firm said it could change its mind if the mining permit process was streamlined.
The Senate Judiciary Committee issued an agenda Tuesday saying it would “discuss plans for action” at its Monday meeting. It said no public comments would be taken.
Tribal leaders says agreement possible
The leader of the Ho-Chunk Indians says he’s optimistic that lawmakers and tribes can agree on a bill to speed up the approvals of state mining permits. But Jon Greendeer said the environment must be preserved.
Greendeer said he believes there’s a way to protect Wisconsin’s water resources while generating the jobs that mining would create.
Greendeer touched on the subject Tuesday during the annual State of the Tribes address to a joint session of the Legislature. The address informs lawmakers on the most pressing issues facing Wisconsin’s 11 tribes.
A week ago, senators rejected the latest proposal for a faster permit process. As a result, Gogebic Taconite ended its plans to dig a big open-pit iron ore mine south of Lake Superior near Hurley.
The Senate’s Judiciary Committee plans to meet Monday to discuss possible future options. Gov. Scott Walker has said he might call a special legislative session to re-visit the mining issue.
Supreme Court rules for homeless sex offender
The State Supreme Court ruled Tuesday morning that a homeless sex offender should not have been convicted of failing to report an address. William Dinkins Senior served a 10-year prison term on a Dodge County conviction of first-degree child sex assault. In 2008, authorities said Dinkins broke the law by not reporting a new address within 10 days before he left prison.
Therefore, officials said he did not comply with the terms of entering the state’s registry for sex offenders.
A state appeals court threw out the non-reporting charge. The state Justice Department appealed, saying that Dinkins could have registered a park bench or some other street location.
On Tuesday, March 13, the Supreme Court said Dinkins could not have complied because he did not have a permanent location. The justices said it does not excuse all homeless people from having to register as sex offenders if they’re required to do so.