Washington, DC – Last night, without public notice, Republicans in the Wisconsin Senate used extraordinary parliamentary maneuvers to separate a bill that takes away public workers’ bargaining rights in that state from related budgetary measures, enabling them to pass that bill solely with Republican votes. The GOP-dominated Wisconsin Assembly followed suit today, sending the purely partisan bill, which eliminates rights that public employees in Wisconsin have had for decades without addressing Wisconsin’s fiscal issues, to Republican Governor Scott Walker’s desk.
In response, DNC Chairman Tim Kaine said: “The decision by Governor Scott Walker and Republicans in the Wisconsin legislature to use procedural gimmicks and a straight partisan vote to press on with legislation that would take away collective bargaining rights held by Wisconsin public employees for over 50 years is contrary to the state’s political traditions, is punitive in nature, and does nothing to address the budget issues that he and his fellow Republicans claimed were at the heart of this legislative dispute. “Villainizing public sector workers or other hard working Americans isn’t going to get us any closer to addressing the budget issues facing our states or the country as a whole and does nothing to lay the foundation for a more prosperous future. “In these tough budget times everyone needs to share in the sacrifices necessary to bring budgets into balance and to spend taxpayer resources wisely and leaders of both parties have to come together to find common ground. It’s very disappointing that Republicans are preventing that from happening in Wisconsin.