Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said he thinks a bill overhauling Wisconsin's mining regulations will pass the Legislature by the end of the first week in March.
Vos said Thursday he supports the bill as it passed a committee vote on Wednesday. He said that doesn't mean he wouldn't support other changes, but he doesn't know what those would be.
The bill will first be taken up by the Republican-controlled Senate. Gov. Scott Walker and Republicans have been pushing to pass the bill quickly despite objections from Democrats that it will harm the environment and not provide the hundreds of jobs as promised.
Democrats are planning their own public hearing Saturday in northwestern Wisconsin because they say people who live near the mine haven't had a chance to be heard.