Monday, April 05, 2010

Mining bill debate is intense

As soon as the Centennial Museum bill vote was taken this afternoon, the Senate Natural Resources Committee took up HB2617, which makes numerous changes to the process of mining regulation in the state.   It looks like the debate that just ended over the future of the Arizona Mining & Mineral Museum was just a warm up to the big fight over this bill aimed at streamlining the mining permitting process.  The Senate hallways have been packed with lobbyists all afternoon, waiting for this bill.  In a simplistic assessment the opening arguments are jobs versus environment.    But after Maricopa County and Sierra Club spoke against the bill, the committee had to adjourn suddenly to go to the Senate Floor for some unspecified action.

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