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Sen. Larson To Hold Oak Creek Town Hall

The mining debate will likely be a focus of Monday night's meeting at the Oak Creek Public Library.

The debate over mining is likely to be a major focus of a town hall meeting Monday night hosted by State Sen. Chris Larson.

The town hall will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 28 at the Oak Creek Public Library, 8620 S. Howell Ave. Larson says the event will allow him to talk about issues facing the community and state and listen to the concerns of residents.

In recent days, Larson has expressed his opposition to the controversial mining bill introduced by Republicans earlier this month.

He said the legislation "ignores the public input heard during the bipartisan committee hearings, does not take into account the concerns raised by federal regulators, and was drafted without input from Democratic legislators."

"Mining can be done right, but it requires working with key stakeholders and maximizing opportunities for public input, particularly in the affected areas," Larson wrote in his weekly newsletter.

"Despite receiving significant testimony on mining legislation last session, (the bill) does not address the serious problems that plagued the widely-criticized, partisan mining bill that failed last time around. Unfortunately, promises by the bill's authors to integrate new ideas have been broken."

Oak Creek's other delegate to the state Legislature, Republican state Rep. Mark Honadel, is a co-sponsor of the bill. He argues the bill would help grow jobs in southeastern Wisconsin, in addition to jobs in the northern part of the state. 

"Not only will this provide family-supporting jobs in northern Wisconsin, but it will have a direct impact on businesses in the Milwaukee area such as Caterpillar and Joy Global," Honadel said.

Larson said he supports an alternative mining bill introduced by Democratic state Sen. Tim Cullen and Republican state Sen. Dale Schultz, which he called "common sense legislation Wisconsin's middle class families demand."

That legislation differs substantially with the Republicans' bill in terms of change to environmental protections, how much money would go to communities affected by mining, and the amount of time given to the state Department of Natural Resources, according to a Wisconsin State Journal report.

Larson, now the Senate Minority Leader, hosted a similar town hall meeting in Oak Creek last June.

He has several other town halls throughout his district scheduled for January and February; see a full list on his website.

Andy January 27, 2013 at 05:11 AM
Too bad it's not up to Oak Creek or he would never of won... East side and Bayview has us out numbered... Re Draw the lines and he will never win here....
Andy January 27, 2013 at 05:17 AM
Anyone can flee to Rockford and try and spend money that doesn't exist. What the hell has this man accomplished for this City ?? One thing ?? Not for liberals in Bay View.. For Oak Creek ??????
vocal local 1 January 27, 2013 at 08:21 AM
Look who has won here. Doesn't say much about the enlightenment of the OC voter in my opinion. In OC the people voted in our council and mayor that have committed us to millions of dollars of debt and rising taxes. As for election of state officials are you sure were moving in the right direction? Do you really believe we as a state are in good financial standing? Wheres our production? Why ae we sending state work out of state? When you blue collar workers wake up where are you going to be without collective bargaining? Wanta bee's is my best guess.
Dirk January 28, 2013 at 01:37 PM
Is he driving from Illinois? Or taking the train in?
Chris January 28, 2013 at 02:13 PM
Your name says "local" in it. Chris Larson's job is to represent the residents of his district, not those of northern districts, hence the whole form of representative govt. The question on mining comes up is it in the best interests of HIS constituents. If it's not, then vote no, but you can't bring up water tables, or lake superior water in defense of his vote on this.

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