WI Senate Pump Fakes the State Unions and Passes Restrictions
Matt | On 10, Mar 2011
The Republicans in the Wisconsin Senate have played every underhanded trick they can think of to get their way over the state’s union workers.
Late yesterday, the Senate voted 18-1 to pass the controversial restrictions on collective bargaining for state union workers. Union workers had already agreed to concessions about contributing more to their retirement plans, etc. But, the state’s shitty new Gov. Scott Walker (R) and lawmakers wanted to restrict collective bargaining because they felt it would save the state money.
Yesterday’s vote was odd because all 14 Senate Democrats were still A.W.O.L. in Illinois. They have been holed up there for three weeks in protest of the proposed measure. The Dems wanted to prevent a quorom of at least 20 Senate members being present for any vote.
Here’s how the Republicans worked around the Dems absence, though.
The quorum rule is only necessary for votes related to funding measures. So, the GOP stripped the bill of the funding proposals and just flat out said, “Unions will have severely restricted collective bargaining rights.” They didn’t need to attach any money to that. Since they didn’t need a quorum, only the Republicans voted and it passed overwhelmingly.
“Hot like fire” would be an understatement for how the Democrats and the citizens of Wisconsin felt about this action. Protests are planned at the State Capitol. A group of citizens are already organizing a recall effort for 16 state senators, all of whom have been in office for more than one year. They have warned Gov. Walker that they plan to launch recall efforts on him next year once he passes his one year mark in office.
Meanwhile, Gov. Walker celebrated the vote. The ideologue has made it his sole mission to break the state’s unions under the guise of “cost cutting.” I think his entire salary and job position would be something great to put on the chopping block of financial cuts.