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Republican lawmakers look to join regulatory lawsuits

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican legislators want to join two lawsuits before the state Supreme Court that will decide the extent of environmental regulators’ powers.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the Joint Committee on Legislative Organization is voting by paper ballot on Thursday on whether to hire lawyers to intervene in the cases. GOP leaders didn’t say whom they want to hire or how much the attorneys would be paid.

One case centers on what requirements the Department of Natural Resources can include in a permit for a Kewaunee County dairy operation. The other concerns whether the DNR can consider the likely cumulative effects that a proposed high-capacity well would have on nearby waters when granting permits.

Both cases involve a Republican-authored law that supporters argue should block regulators from imposing conditions that go beyond what’s spelled out in statute or administrative code.

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