Budget bill discussion in Mt Horeb - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Opponents of governor's budget bill hold public discussion in Mt. Horeb

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MT. HOREB (WKOW) -- About 350 people gathered inside the Mt. Horeb High School auditorium Monday night for a panel discussion on how the governor's budget bill will affect them.

Several residents expressed concern about provisions in the bill that would strip nearly all collective bargaining rights from unions. The panel also discussed the governor's two-year budget, and other proposed legislation.

Representative Sondy Pope-Roberts (D-79th District) said that even though most of the public's attention has been focused on collective bargaining, the monetary concessions in the governor's budget bill shouldn't be overlooked.

"I just can't tell you how many heartbreaking stories we heard. People said, 'they say this isn't about the money, but for my family, it is about the money,'" she said.

Pope-Roberts told the crowd about a teacher she met during public hearing on the bill who told her the proposed changes in health care contributions and pensions would make it difficult to feed her family.

The bill would require state workers to pay 5.8% toward their pension and about 12% of their healthcare benefits.

Governor Scott Walker has said those contributions are about the same, or less, than the amount paid by private sector workers.

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