Senate majority leader Fitzgerald's statement on vote - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Senate majority leader Fitzgerald's statement on Wednesday's vote

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Senate majority leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) released the following statement this morning in regards to the Senate passing a bill that takes away most collective bargaining rights from nearly all public workers in an effort to close the state's massive budget deficit.

Democrats argue Republicans violated the state open meetings law when they met at 6 p.m. Wednesday and passed the bill.

"Don't let their complete absence fool you; the Senate Democrats forced that vote yesterday.  They forced it three weeks ago, when they abandoned their jobs and fled to Illinois for a long-term vacation.

"And today, they're *shocked* that a decision was made without them in the room.  Yesterday's actions shouldn't surprise anyone, much less any parent in Wisconsin.  We know that sometimes, throwing a fit doesn't get you what you want.

"Unfortunately for the Democrats, common sense is something Wisconsin is chock full of.  Even the most stalwart protester, in the back of their mind, knows full well what would happen to them if they refused to show up to work for three weeks.

"So what did the Democrats do yesterday?  They threw everything they could at the wall.  They screamed that it was a violation of the Open Meetings Law, but the law says 100 percent otherwise – all rules followed.  (Statute section 19.87 (2); Senate Rule 93.) 

"Then they called it a dirty trick, something they would never do!  Except the Democrats created the *exact same committee,* using the *exact same procedure,* last session when they were in charge.  (Assembly Bill 75, June 24)

"They said it was wrong to use a procedural/tactical maneuver to vote, despite the fact that they're using a procedural/tactical maneuver to avoid the vote in Illinois.

"Then the Fugitive Fourteen said they were coming back immediately.  Then they said they weren't coming back at all.  Then they said they'll come back once the Assembly passes the bill, once their ability participate has completely, officially expired.  As if we needed any proof that they never intended to be a part of the process in the first place

"It's amazing what lengths some people will go to fight against some much-needed change.  It's like a child, throwing a tantrum, because they don't like the taste of the medicine.

"But this change absolutely gets Wisconsin closer to a balanced budget, a greater balance between the public and private sectors, and most importantly, it prevents deep, real layoffs at both the state and the local levels.

"I was elected with a clear agenda: improve the economy and create jobs.  Somehow, the union bullhorn has made people forget that this agenda – getting Wisconsin back on the right track – is what's really at stake here.

"Whenever the Senate Democrats decide to return to Wisconsin, and to reality, I think one thing is clear: with this bill behind us, and with the next state budget ahead of us, they're going to find the place a lot better than they left it."

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