Treasurer’s Testimony on AB 426 from Wednesday, January 11
Testimony of Wisconsin State Treasurer Kurt Schuller Before the Wisconsin State Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economy, and Small Business Regarding AB 426
January 11, 2012
I would like to begin my testimony today by thanking Chairperson Williams, Vice-Chairman Endsley, and the members of the committee for allowing me to express my firm support for AB 426. As members of the Committee on Jobs, Economy, and Small Busines, I am sure that you are all aware that the people of Wisconsin are crying for jobs. People in Northern Wisconsin are dying for them.
Today, we are sitting in Iron County, a county that lost nearly 14% of its population between 2000 and 2010. This region’s economic health is failing; AB 426 holds the cure, and we as public officials have a responsibility to do everything in our power to foster job creation for the people of Northern Wisconsin.
AB 426 provides common sense regulatory reforms which would allow for the development of thousands of jobs both in the Northland and Wisconsin as a whole.
The Economic Impacty Study conducted by Northstar Economics Inc. projects the creation of 3,175 jobs for the construction of the mine over a two year period, and 2,834 long term jobs once the mine is up and running. Of those 2,834 jobs, 700 of them would be created directly by the mine, 953 of them would be created in the transportation industry, and 1,181 jobs would be created through indirect or induced effect – this includes jobs created by increased economic acticty in Northern Wisconsin communities, as well as jobs created in Southern Wisconsin related to the iron industry. These job totals should double if the mine proceeds through both of the currently proposed developmental phases.
Now is not the time for obstruction. I urge members of this committee to support AB 426. Our neighbors in Minnesota and Michigan are already engaged in iron mining, and surveys show that people in Northern Wisconsin want mining. This is an opportunity that we owe the region and the state.