MADISON (WKOW) -- State workers have been preparing, knowing cuts to their paychecks were coming this month. Thursday, that reality sets in as they see for the first time exactly how much they're now taking home.
Thursday was the first day, state workers saw and felt the impact of Governor Scott Walker's budget repair bill. Many, wearing black to symbolize a day of mourning, tell 27 News the cuts are painful and they're afraid they won't be able to make ends meet.
Elizabeth Fritz has worked for the state of Wisconsin for a decade as a supervisor for unemployment. She has a 12-year-old son and now a lot to worry about.
"It's really going to hurt and I've heard a lot of other people say the same thing. You don't know how you're going to manage. I'm thinking of taking a second job." Fritz says.
Her paycheck that she received Thursday was $248 less. She along with thousands of other state workers are feeling the impact of Governor Walker's budget repair bill; a bill that now requires state workers to contribute about 6 percent more to their pension and 12.6 percent to toward health insurance.
"I'm looking at dealing with about $250-$300 a month. I'm going to have to figure out where else I'm going to have to cut my budget in order to make ends meet, because it really does have a big impact," says Mary Jo Parman, an executive staff assistant for the Department of Public Instruction.
Parman is a mother of two. Her 20-year-old son is autistic. She has worked as an executive staff assistant at the Department of public Instruction for almost 20 years.
"It's going to be significant. It's going to be a lot of money," Parman says.
"For those of us within five years of retirement, it's kind of a blow," says Teresa Goodier, a school administration consultant at the Department of Public Instruction.
These women all say the cuts to their paychecks mean they will be forced to cut back elsewhere.
Fritz says, "Cutting back on things I can't afford. My extra spending money. The city of Madison is really going to be hurting when they can't have these state workers going out to lunch. state employees dispensable income is really going down."
"It's extra spending money, it's cutting cable which I already have, the grocery bill will have to be looked at, eating out will be cut back, I consider all those things huge luxuries now, we're going to be cut down right to the basics," says Parman.
There were a couple different rallies and events throughout the day. One held by UW employees at Library Mall and another rally on the corner of state street at 5 p.m.