MADISON, Wisconsin (WXOW) - There was a "Bury the Bill" rally and march in Madison on Saturday. Protesters gathered to show their opposition to a bill that would streamline the permitting process to mine in Wisconsin.
Protesters marched from the Wisconsin manufacturers and commerce building to join the rally held at the state capitol today.
The bill must pass the senate before the governor can sign it into law.
The governor says this could provide at least 700 good paying jobs at the mine, and thousands more across the state.
Conservationists worry that mine will cause pollution, and hurt the tourism industry near Lake Superior. Carl Sack is one of those marching against the bill. He says, "We are very concerned about what the mine would do to the water up there and generations of local economy. Mining is a boom/bust economy, so jobs that could be added short term could go away next year." Sack also claims legislators should provide adequate time for the Department of Natural Resources and public to review the bill.
Officials say this bill also could impact La Crosse County. Representative Steve Doyle says the altered zoning laws in the mine bill affect floodplains statewide. FEMA has warned that homeowners could lose flood insurance coverage as a result.
Doyle says the assembly was not aware of the consequences when the bill was debated. He says it would devalue homes. Officials say banks would no longer insure mortgages on homes without flood insurance. "If you have a home that's in a floodplain that's covered by flood insurance now, and let's say your home is worth $200,000. I would say if this doesn't change, your home is worth zero dollars because you're not going to be able to sell it and you're not going to get insurance coverage," says Doyle.
The bill has already passed the assembly, but Doyle says he expects that the senate will alter the bill to avoid the loss of flood insurance coverage.
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