RHINELANDER, WI (WSAU) - The mining bill is now the law, as Governor Scott Walker signed the legislation Monday in Rhinelander. After the ceremony, Walker was asked if he believes this law will hold up in the courts... and he believes it will. "I am, and there's no doubt no matter which bill, whether it was the bill that Senator Cullen, Senator Schultz, and Senator Jauch talked about last session, or this bill, there were some entities that were going to go to court over anything, so it's not just one piece of legislation or another, there are some people in this state, and I respect that, just don't want any mines under any circumstances.”
Supporters of the mining legislation are hoping for thousands of new jobs for the mining region and for suppliers around the state. Walker said those jobs won’t happen overnight, but you should start to see preliminary work yet this year. "You're probably going to have within the first year or so is time it takes to go through the details of the permitting process, but you're going to see already some work start just in terms of the tests that need to be done to fulfill that permitting process, and I think you'll see some of the preparation.”
There’s no guarantee the mine will be built. Gogebic Taconite still has to be approved through the application process. There is also a likely court battle coming against the Bad River Chippewa tribe.