WSJ Reports Wisconsin Democrats To End Stand-Off
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Wisconsin Democrats are planning to end their exile, knowing they’ll lose the vote, but win public sentiment in the long run.
The Republicans rejected the idea that the legislation would hurt the GOP. “If you think this is a bad bill for Republicans, why didn’t you stand up in the chamber and debate us about it three weeks ago?” said Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald. “People think it’s absolutely ridiculous that these 14 senators have not been in Wisconsin for three weeks.”
The answer to that question is that Republicans wanted to rush the union-busting legislation through in three days, with little debate. Their supporters are the same people who whined that health care reform was rushed through in spite of a year-long debate.
Sen. Mark Miller said he and his fellow Democrats intend to let the full Senate vote on Gov. Scott Walker’s “budget-repair” bill, which includes the proposed limits on public unions’ collective-bargaining rights…
He said he thinks recent polls showing voter discontent with Mr. Walker over limits on bargaining rights have been “disastrous” for the governor and Republicans and give Democrats more leverage to seek changes in a broader two-year budget bill Mr. Walker proposed Tuesday.
Before a return is possible, negotiations have to be completed to handle the Republican resolution passed last week that holds Democrats in contempt and orders them arrested if they enter the state.
Mr. Walker’s bill would prohibit bargaining over health care and pensions for about 170,000 public employees in the state and would allow public employees to opt out of paying dues or belonging to a union.
The bill also would end the automatic collection of dues by the state, and require that every public-employee union get recertified to represent workers through an annual election.
Mr. Miller said the Democrats also want to fight Mr. Walker’s recently announced two-year budget plan, which cuts spending by $4.2 billion, or 6.7%, including $1.25 billion less in state aid to schools and local governments.
These measures will likely pass, but Republicans would be wise not to celebrate too loudly.Click here for reuse options!
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