Mine Safety Sponsor Says Bill's Been 'Gutted'

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The sponsor of a bill aimed at strengthening Kentucky's mine safety laws withdrew his support for the legislation today. State representative Brent Yonts says it had been "gutted" by a committee.

Yonts says he isn't killing the legislation, but won't push it either. That could spell trouble for the bill's chances for success this year.

The latest version of the bill deletes provisions such as requiring miners to be equipped with methane detectors. The bill would still require more government coal mine inspections.

The proposed mining legislation follows one of the deadliest years in recent history for coal miners in Kentucky. In all, 16 miners were killed on the job in 2006.

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