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Entries in Gov. Walker (2)

Sunday
Mar132011

100,000 Protest Wisconsin Collective Bargaining Bill

Mark Hirsch/Getty Images(MADISON, Wisc.) -- In the largest demonstration yet, about 100,000 people protested in Wisconsin's capital this weekend against the recently-approved bill repressing union rights.

Gov. Scott Walker signed the bill on Friday, severely limiting collective bargaining rights.

The demonstration coincided with the return of the 14 Democratic state senators who left the state to prevent a voting quorum.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Feb252011

Wisconsin Assembly Approves Budget Reform Bill

Photo Courtesy - Mark Hirsch/Getty Images(MADISON, Wis.) -- Wisconsin assembly members early this morning approved a bill that would take away the majority of public workers' collective bargaining rights.

Closure on the controversial bill is far from over as it now heads to the state senate, where 14 lawmakers have been absent in order to prevent a voting quorum.

Walker would not say how long he would wait on a vote for the bill that he says would balance the state's budget and repeal most union collective bargaining rights for public workers.

But he said failure to move the bill forward could result in state aid to local governments being cut by nearly $1 billion, as well as teacher layoffs.

"Year after year politicians passed the buck and that's precisely why we are in trouble today and its got to stop," said Walker. "Its not just about protecting the taxpayers, but its also about protecting the workers."

Neither Republicans nor Democrats were willing to blink first in the week-long debate that has resulted in 14 lawmakers in the Wisconsin senate fleeing their state, and has brought tens of thousands of protestors inside the Wisconsin capitol building.

Outside the capitol building, state troopers at the behest of Governor Walker tried unsuccessfully to find at least one of the 14 missing Wisconsin senate Democrats who have been on the run for more than a week. Their absence has halted debate in the Wisconsin senate and made it impossible for the bill to be passed into law.

Troopers visited homes of several lawmakers who have left the state in response to rumors that some of them were sneaking back across the border to pick up essentials. The gang of 14 said they would not return until Gov. Walker was willing to compromise on the collective bargaining proposals.

By compromise, Democrats mean strip it from the proposal. The governor and Republican leadership contend if that's done, the savings promised under the bill will vanish.

Walker says the bill will allow the state to save $300 million this year and $1.44 billion in the next state budget. Democrats say the $3.6 billion deficit for the next budget, which begins in July, is in large measure a result of the recent recession, and such plans to restrict union bargaining power is unnecessary, especially when state employees have already agreed to a pay cut.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio