Rep. Kelda Helen Roys, D-Madison, submitted an open records request Monday to Gov. Scott Walker, seeking all communications with Gogebic Taconite regarding the 183-page Republican mining bill released Thursday.
"Many conservation leaders believe this bill is a massive handout to big corporate polluters and the mining industry," Roys said in a prepared statement. "Secret corporate-drafted bills are bad for Wisconsin and the public deserves to know how much influence lobbyists for out-of-state mining companies had in drafting this bill."
The open records request specifically seeks all documents and communications, including electronic documents and phone records, between Walker and members of his staff with any official or representative of Gogebic Taconite, or relating to mining.
The request comes after a previous mining bill failed to gain traction earlier this year after it was discovered the mining company had a hand in drafting the legislation.
At a Capitol news conference Thursday, Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald, R-Horicon, classified the legislation as "one of the biggest job bills" of the session.
Gogebic Taconite is proposing a $1.5 billion iron ore mine, with a projected 30-year lifespan. It would have the potential to create thousands of new jobs at a time when the state is struggling to rebound from the economic downturn. The mine would be located in portions of Iron and Ashland counties.
"We're talking about generational jobs that will be there for a long time," Fitzgerald said Thursday. Walker subsequently released a statement commending the Assembly for introducing the bill.
The bill would, among other things, ease numerous environmental limitations now in place and require the state Department of Natural Resources to act on a mining permit within 360 days.
The Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economy and Small Business will hold a public hearing on the bill at 10 a.m. Wednesday.