MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Republicans are set to begin their push to pass mining legislation with a public hearing.  The Assembly and Senate mining hearings plan to kick off the hearing Wednesday morning at the state Capitol. The committees aren’t expected to vote, but the bill’s opponents and supporters will be out in force to make their voices heard.  Republicans have introduced a sweeping bill that would overhaul mining regulations in hopes of persuading Gogebic Taconite to open an iron mine just south of Lake Superior. The bill would create a 480-day window for state regulators to make a permitting decision and allow waste materials near lakes, rivers and streams.  Proponents say the mine would create thousands of jobs. Conservationists say the project would devastate the pristine area.