Rally marks anniversary of budget repair bill - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Rally marks anniversary of budget repair bill


MADISON (WKOW) -- An estimated 30,000 people rallied at the Capitol in Madison on Saturday, to mark one year since the state Assembly passed collective bargaining restrictions in Wisconsin.

Demonstrators are looking back on a year of protests and political unrest.

"I was here occupying the Capitol every day for the first 90 days last year at this time," says retired Madison teacher Alan Ginsberg.

"People are very energetic and well meaning to try to create and continue the tradition of history here in Wisconsin of supporting workers rights," says Al Michels, a former Madison teacher.

It's one year after the budget repair bill was passed, essentially ending collective bargaining rights for most public workers.

Opponents of that legislation are still as charged up as ever, but some people around Madison say they just don't get it. Some just walking by say the demonstrators complaints are overblown.

"I thought that's why you elected him in the first place--to make the tough decisions," says Barry Hughes, visiting Madison this weekend from Delaware, "If a state is in financial trouble and the governor tries to make a tough decision there's no win it seems like for him."

But others also not taking part in the rally disagree.

"I think it's part of our rights as citizens and I think it's a perfect opportunity as long as everybody behaves themselves on both sides," says Madison resident Dawn Bankers.

While the issue has split the state in the past year, protesters say that's not necessarily a bad thing.

"Sometimes it's good to have a little tension to make people really figure out--what am I really voting for and how am I going to vote," says Michels.

The Reclaim Wisconsin March Saturday concluded a three week long statewide Reclaim Wisconsin Tour.
Sunday March 11th marks the one year anniversary of Gov. Walker signing the budget repair bill into law.


MADISON (WKOW) – Wisconsin unions and recall supporters are gathering Saturday to mark the one-year anniversary of the state Legislature passing the collective bargaining bill.

The rally is hosted by Wisconsin State AFL-CIO.  Thousands are expected to rally outside the Capitol and the organizers said they will emphasize the effort to recall Gov. Scott Walker.

Walker's budget repair bill took away the collective bargaining rights of most public workers.  Unions and other activist criticized the legislation and protested at the Capitol before and after the bill passed in the Republican-controlled Assembly.

Democrats want to force Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and four other GOP senators into recall elections.  In January, more than a million petition signatures were submitted.

Tonight on 27 News at 6 and 10 Jennifer Kliese will have more on this developing story.

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