(MADISON, Wis.) -- Speaking to a near capacity crowd, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker proposed his two-year budget plan Tuesday that he said "is about getting Wisconsin working again."
The plan would cut $1.5 billion from public schools and local governments.
Missing from the Capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin were 14 Democratic senators who refuse to vote on the governor's budget repair bill, which they say is intended to destroy the state's unions. The lawmakers are in Illinois and vow not to return until Walker shows some willingness to compromise.
Walker didn't let their absence go unnoticed, saying voters put the senators in office to "participate in the democratic process."
Meanwhile, the governor claimed that the state is broke and needs some immediate fixes. Those fixes include slicing aid to public schools by $834 million over two years and cutting $96 million in aid going to counties and municipalities during the 2012 fiscal year.
Calling his $59.3 billion plan "a reform budget," Walker said his goal is to create 250,000 private sector jobs over the next four years and get rid of a projected $3.6 billion budget deficit.
State and local workers claim that the Republican governor is doing it on their backs by making them pay more into pensions and healthcare coverage while trying to destroy collective bargaining rights that have been in effect for over 50 years.
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