After roughly three weeks out of the state in an effort to stall Gov. Scott Walker's "budget repair bill," the 14 Democratic state senators plan to attend a rally this weekend in Madison to thank protesters.More >>
After a month of protests and intense deliberation following the Senate Democrats' departure to Illinois, Governor Scott Walker signed the revised budget repair bill into law Friday.More >>
MADISON (WKOW) -- Governor Scott Walker officially signed the budget repair bill in private Friday morning. Then again, in a ceremonial signing, at the Capitol while hundreds of protesters chanted outside his office.
It has been a historical battle at the Capitol as thousands have rallied every day for nearly a month. Fighting to keep their collective bargaining rights. Friday the Governor took one of the last steps to take those rights away from many of Wisconsin's public workers.
Governor Scott Walker says, "This is a modest request to balance the budget."
With a stroke of a pen, Governor Walker signed the budget repair bill stripping collective bargaining rights from most public workers and closing a chapter that will forever go down in Wisconsin's history books.
Governor Walker says, "We were elected last November to make sure we didn't pass these tough decisions onto the next generation and that's what we did today."
Chants of "kill the bill" have filled the Capitol for more than three weeks and the chants didn't stop Friday. Protesters made sure the Governor knew they're not going anywhere.
Georgene Voutila of Milwaukee says, "It's frustrating to lose. It always is, but when those things are close to your heart you have to fight for them fair square."
Mark Hausmann says, "I do not believe this is over. He has won the battle b/c I think he's done somewhat illegal things but I think in the long run, the recalls will come, the votes will come."
After signing the bill walker rescinded the 1,500 layoff notices that went out last week but Democratic lawmakers call this bill an assault on the middle class. They say a Wisconsin tradition has been brought to an end but they promise to fight to bring back these workers rights whether its through legislation, the court or recalls.
Rep. Peter Barca//D-Kenosha says, "We will continue to fight forward, we will continue to fight to restore these rights."
Governor walker says he's not afraid of the recalls and is confident the bill will withstand any legal challenges. he vows this is what Wisconsin needs to get back on the right fiscal track and that he has no doubt support for this bill with grow.
Gov. Walker says, "This is one more way to get Government under control and balance budget and do it without costing middle class jobs and middle class taxpayers."
Opponents to the bill say this fight is far from over. Saturday, there is another scheduled rally at the Capitol and they're expecting more than a hundred thousand people to show up including the 14 Senate Democrats who fled the state three weeks ago.
They are planning to march from Monona Terrace to the Capitol thanking demonstrators. Senator Chris Larson says their message will be this is only the beginning.
MADISON (WKOW) -- Governor Walker has signed the revised budget repair bill today, according to his spokesperson. He held a ceremonial signing at 3 p.m. Friday at the State Capitol.
The Secretary of State received the bill, and has 10 working days to publish it. Gov. Walker says he's hopeful it will be done Monday.
Walker said on Thursday he would sign the bill as quickly as he possibly could. The governor also said he is confident the law will withstand legal challenges.
The bill passed in the Assembly Thursday, with a 53-42 vote. Four Republicans crossed party lines to vote against it.
Also, the governor said Friday, Wisconsin will not lay off state workers in the wake of the bill passing. The revised bill does include the controversial measure of stripping many public employee unions of most collective bargaining rights.
Meanwhile, pro-labor protesters were expected to enter the Capitol right at 8 a.m. Capitol police chief, Charles Tubbs, convinced most of them to leave willingly last night. He told them they would be allowed back in, on time, this morning.
Capitol doors didn't open until 11 a.m. Thursday. Officials said they were trying to make sure the building was secure as they removed protesters who had stayed the night before. Authorities say they were taking extra precautions after death threats against some Republican Senators.