Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wisconsin Senate Republicans Strip Collective Bargaining Rights

Late this afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald called a special session of the Senate for 6pm this evening. Apparently, they voted for the budget repair bill without the presence of the Democrats. Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca says the actions are most likely illegal and plans to request the AG investigate. Barca said, "It is a continuation of a pattern of a naked abuse of power." The fiscal provisions were removed from the bill, leaving the stripping of collective bargaining rights for public employees and possibly other policy provisions.

If the Republicans have any legal standing to vote on this bill, it means it has no fiscal impact. Read that again, collective bargaining rights have no fiscal impact.

Update: Chris Matthews is calling it the "Ash Wednesday Ambush."

According to Barca on MSNBC, the law states that the Republicans need to give 24 hours notice before such a meeting. Without such notice, the vote is illegal. However, the only recourse will be to have the Republicans give proper notice and re-vote. Now's the time to contact your representatives and let them know how you feel.

The overwhelming majority of Wisconsinites asked for compromise, and this is what we get?

Update: The bill is here. The stripping of collective bargaining rights for public employees remains, as well as all of the union-busting provisions. We were told these provisions are needed to balance the budget, but they couldn't be voted on if they have a fiscal impact. So why did the Republicans just strip collective bargaining rights from public employees when Wisconsin strongly opposes that?

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