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Committee OKs well bill by paper ballot

By TODD RICHMOND
Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — 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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