- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 28, 2017

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The Latest on the Senate labor committee vote on a bill that would relax high-capacity well regulations (all times local):

1:30 p.m.

A key legislative committee has approved a bill that would relax high-capacity well regulations, clearing the way for a full Senate vote.

The Republican-controlled Senate Committee on Labor and Regulatory Reform voted 3-2 on party lines Tuesday to advance the bill to the Senate. Chairman Steve Nass conducted the vote by paper ballot rather than having the committee meet in person, drawing the ire of conservationists who fear high-capacity wells deplete ground and surface waters.

Nass aide Mike Mikalsen says Democrats set up the paper ballot system in 2009 and Nass is simply utilizing their system. He says Democrats will be able to debate the bill on the Senate floor. The chamber is expected to take it up next week.



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11:12 a.m.

A legislative committee is set to vote on a bill that would relax high-capacity well regulations without meeting for discussion in the face of intense opposition.

The Senate Committee on Labor and Regulatory Reform plans to vote on the bill by paper ballot Tuesday afternoon. Typically committees meet to discuss bills and vote in person.

Environmentalists are concerned wells are depleting state waters. They’ve mounted a fierce pushback against the bill, extending a public hearing on the measure for nearly 10 hours earlier this month.

Mike Mikalsen, an aide to committee chairman Steve Nass of Whitewater, says Democrats set up the paper ballot system in 2009 and he’s simply utilizing their system. Mikalsen says Nass isn’t trying to stifle debate, noting that will come on the Senate floor.

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