Wisconsin Budget Fight Gets Butt Ugly
Matt | On 18, Feb 2011
The news out of Wisconsin this week is surprising in some respects, but highly-expected at the same time. If you’re reading this and you DO NOT live in Wisconsin, please pay close attention. This type of fight could be coming to a state near you.
In short, people in the Badger State have tapped their inner “Egypt,” if you will, protesting on a mass scale in the state’s capital of Madison. The fight is over the state’s budget, very similar to a proposal in Ohio, but further along in the legislative process.
State workers are being asked for more contributions to their benefits packages. Also, like in Ohio, a proposal to remove collective bargaining power (the right to negotiate) has brought the state to its knees.
You know what the state workers and some legislators did in response? They walked the hell off the job, and some left the state. On Friday, some school districts closed completely because so many state-paid teachers called in sick. Democratic state senators (who are in the minority in Wisconsin) have left the state to block the vote on the measure. Yeah .. it’s really that bad up there.
Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, is pissed off! In some respects, I can’t blame him. It’s kinda hard to pass a budget and do your job when a fair number of legislators don’t show up for work. Walker is also taking shots at the president for comments he made about how harsh the state’s measures were. Major media outlets and leaders have descended on Madison to cover the story.
I have to say, though, I am proud of the state workers for at least standing up for themselves in the face of a GOP-controlled legislature and governor’s mansion. When you have massive amounts of teachers walking off the job, that’s some serious shit.
Expect things to get worse in Wisconsin before they get better. Unions put up TOUGH fights!