State Senator Fred Risser (D-Madison) said today that Governor Walker'sproposal to strip almost all rights of public employees to collectively bargain is nothing more than union busting and an unconscionable abuse of power.More >>
In response to Gov. Walker's proposed budget repair bill, Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald says, "Governor Walker is asking nothing more from state employees than what the rest of Wisconsin families have been doing already, tightening their belts and sharing some of the burden." More >>
MADISON (WKOW) -- Rep. Peter Barca, Assembly Democratic Minority Leader, released the following statement about Governor Scott Walker's proposed budget repair bill:
"It appears that Gov. Scott Walker plans to use the guise of a budget adjustment bill to put a permanent end to more than a half century of employee rights in Wisconsin.
"This is a historic power grab. Governor Walker's special session on job creation did little to help the unemployed and now he plans to permanently eliminate the rights of working people. This is a direct assault on Wisconsin working families.
"What Gov. Walker should have done is to have the courage to do what governors from both political parties have done before him: sit across the table from his employees, look them in the eye and negotiate pay and benefits as strongly as he feels is appropriate, but in good faith.
"Governor Walker's attempt to eliminate employee rights is not a measure to balance the budget or promote fiscal responsibility – it does not belong in a rushed, radical budget ‘repair' bill. These are permanent changes not a resolution to a short-term fiscal crisis. We didn't think when Gov. Walker talked about improving the business climate his real plan was to have an open season on employees.
"Make no mistake -- this will permanently hurt the people who teach our children, the snow plow drivers who clear our streets, the inspectors who protect our food, the health-care workers who care for our families and the firefighters who protect our forests.
"In dozens of public debates and hundreds of appearances and thousands of mailings and press releases during the campaign, Scott Walker talked about trimming benefits of public workers, but he never told the public of these extreme plans. Had he made ending all collective bargaining rights a theme in his campaign and been candid with voters, he might not be living in that big mansion on Lake Mendota right now.
It is clear there will be no public hearings on the destruction of employee rights because it is clear they do not want any public input that might slow or in any way alter these radical plans.
This is step one in a momentous erosion of the quality of public schools in this state because five days after he rams this through he will unveil his budget which will contain the deepest cuts ever made to Wisconsin public schools. This will not only hurt Wisconsin's families, lowering the quality of our education is among the worst things that could be done to hurt our state's business climate.
This is not a cut – it is the permanent elimination of bargaining rights and a radical departure from Wisconsin values."
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