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Entries in State Workers (2)

Saturday
Feb262011

Wisconsin Fury Spreads As Protests Hit California, DC, New York

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Americans gathered by the thousands Saturday – from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., to New York – in a show of solidarity with their Wisconsin union counterparts whose battle against Gov. Scott Walker raged on for a 12th straight day.

Demonstrators in Wisconsin are fighting the governor’s efforts to strip them of collective bargaining rights; it was their rallying that sparked the nationwide call to action.

Union members believe that they’re under attack, faced with Republican-backed legislation in Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio and New Jersey that that would slash bargaining rights and benefits for unionized state workers.

The union firestorm in Wisconsin was front and center at Saturday’s meeting of the nation's governors in Washington, where Republican governors blamed that state's Democrats for creating the problem.

"I believe that it's despicable that we have elected officials that have left their states in order to not be on the record and do the job that they were elected for,” said Republican Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer.

Nearly a dozen states are considering cutting union powers. They say they can't afford those pensions and health benefits any longer.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Feb192011

Tea Party Descends on Wisconsin Protests

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(MADISON, Wisc.) -- Wisconsin Tea Party activists are weighing in on the ongoing state worker protests, bussing in picketers to counter protest and exploring measures to recall the Democratic senators that have fled to boycott the vote on Gov. Scott Walker's budget bill.

Madison police expected approximately 100,000 people to fill the square outside the capitol building Saturday as Tea Party members' voices were added to the chorus of dissent and the protests entered their fifth day.

Tea Party members are forming two exploratory committees to recall two of the Wisconsin Democrats that fled the state on Thursday to protest the vote on the certain-to-pass bill, which will drastically cut state worker benefits and eliminate union bargaining rights.

Gov. Walker told reporters Friday that he would not "allow protesters to drown out the voice of the taxpayers," adding that he had received 19,000 supportive e-mails this week and that a "quiet majority" of the state's residents are behind his plan.

Walker has been calling upon the Democrats to return and end their "theatrics."

Wisconsin has a $137 million shortfall this year and $3.6 billion over the next two years.

Other governors facing similar budget crises are watching Wisconsin carefully. More than 40 states are facing a combined projected shortfall of $125 billion for the fiscal year of 2012. The hardest hit are California, facing a $25.5 billion gap, Texas at $13 billion, Illinois at $15 billion, New York at $9 billion and New Jersey at $10.5 billion.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio