Protesters sleep in the Madison Capitol Building — photo from twitpic taken by News3David click on the link for more.
In “Experimental America”, and in direct defiance of the State of Wisconsin’s Open Meetings Law, Scott Walker today had the audacity to remove all the fiscal material from his Budget Repair Bill which will affect the rights of state employees to collective bargaining and split it in two. The non fiscal part of the Bill (the anti union part) was then passed through the Senate without any Democratic representation. The Bill passed 18 votes to one and the one Republican dissenter, Senator Dale Schultz, issued the following statement:
Senator Dale Schultz
For release March 9, 2011
Contact: Dale Schultz 800.978.8008
Senator Schultz Statement on Budget Repair Bill Vote
“As someone who as spent the better part of the last four weeks working toward and
hoping for a compromise, this is a difficult night.
I’ve had the honor and privilege of representing folks in Southwest and South Central
Wisconsin for 28 years, and where I come from ‘compromise’ isn’t a dirty word.
I’ve received tens of thousands of emails, thousands of phone calls and letters, and spent
hours meeting with thousands of citizens in my district. I’ve heard personal and heartfelt
stories of friends and neighbors, and they ask for just two things.
First, be inclusive by listening and working with your colleagues on both sides of the
aisle to reach a compromise which addresses our fiscal crisis. Second, public employees
are willing to make sacrifices on things like wages and benefits, but we need to preserve
collective bargaining as a tool which has helped keep labor peace in this state for
Ultimately, I voted my conscience which I feel reflects the core beliefs of the majority of
voters who sent me here to represent them.
I look forward to working with my colleagues in the days ahead as we now need to join
together to work through what promises to be a difficult budget.”
– 30 –
Senator Schultz is a Republican from Richland Center representing Wisconsin’s 17th
The Bill now has to go before the General Assembly tomorrow.
I think that the biggest question surrounding Walker’s latest tactic is just why did he have to rush through the non fiscal part of the Bill? Walker has stated that the Bill was a budget repair bill directly related to the State’s finances. The non fiscal part does not affect the State finances.
Protesters inside the building have been asked to leave as the session has now closed. It looks as if there will be a stand off as the protesters are determined to stay the night.
More reactions to the vote in Wisconsin yesterday
Rachel Maddow addresses the “nuclear option” employed by Scott Walker in Madison yesterday.
Rachel Maddow and Michael Moore discuss the “desperation move” by Scott Walker in Madison last night.