Wisconsin state Senate passes restrictions on collective bargaining
March 9th, 2011
07:35 PM ET
3 years ago

Wisconsin state Senate passes restrictions on collective bargaining

Madison, Wisconsin (CNN) - Wisconsin's Republican-led state Senate passed Gov. Scott Walker's proposed restrictions on collective bargaining for public employees Wednesday, getting around a Democratic walkout by stripping financial provisions from the bill.

"Tonight, the Senate will be passing the items in the Budget Repair Bill that we can with the 19 members who actually do show up and do their jobs," Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, the chamber's Republican majority leader, said in a statement announcing the move.

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Filed under: Wisconsin
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Outside Observer

    How can they do this without a quorum? Typical Republicans. They are pretty much just wasting their time and resources doing something without any legal effect at all. This will not just work. Athough forcing legislation when you have a supermajority has political consequences, do it when you have it, but you don't. And by the way Walker if you think winning by a margin of less than 150,000 votes is a mandate for you to force this legislation, think twice. You will be out of office soon. Oh you have campaign donors to please while in office so you gotta deliver.

    You got most of the concessions, leave the unions some dignity for them to be able to bargain collectively, that is their only remaining hope to live better lives.

    Let the unions keep their collective bargaining rights, try this direction again next time you have the quorum and supermajority, that is if you will ever have.

    March 9, 2011 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  2. blf83

    This action should go immediately to the highest courts in Wisconsin and the USA. Shame on Gov. Walker who should be a partial-term governor and the Repubs. You do not represent the citizens of Wisconsin or of the principles of democracy. Shame!

    March 9, 2011 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  3. OneMoreTime

    Well, there you have it. TeaParty/Republicans will manipulate, connive, lie and do any and everything to undercut any
    modicum of civility. As I understand it, the removal of the right to collectively bargain will do nothing to alleviate their budget
    crises. While the tax break to corporations will eventually cost Wisconsin 45M/year in income. It will not stop here,
    they are on a roll, and a devastating one it is. I am not a union member, never have been, but to undercut these people
    and destroy their rights is unforgiveable. We are on a collison course, and it scares me. They are "feeling the power",
    and America is in deep trouble if this continues. I hope I am wrong, but my "gut" feeling has never failed me and it is
    working overtime tonight. Prayer will get us through.

    March 9, 2011 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  4. probound

    Gov. Walker keeps saying that this bill is necessary for his plan to work, but I have yet to hear what his overall plan is. The union members have already offered the financial concessions that he asked for well before this whole thing got so blown out of proportion. It seems as though if he were REALLY willing to negotiate he would have accepted the concessions in order to begin to get Wisconsins finances in order and then, if he could present a credible case for stripping all bargaining rights from the union,he could pursue that avenue as a separate issue. The fact that he won't tells me that his "plan" is to attempt to weaken the union and take away everything that was previously agreed to in good-faith negotiations. Politicians at ALL levels, not just in Wisconsin, have got to get away from the idea that everything has to be done in one fell swoop. Too much too fast never works. If he has a credible plan then present it, and explain how removing the rights of workers is essential to the plans success. If the plan is something that makes sense, then give the constituents enough credit to have the sense to realize that. All the talk about working with the opposite side to obtain results is just that. Talk. Both sides need to give some. The bully on the playground mentality that we're seeing in politics today is really starting to leave a bad taste in my mouth. Seems as though there's a serious shortage of common sense these days.

    March 9, 2011 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  5. Four and The Door

    The Republicans in Wisconsin's Senate are showing the country what real leadership in this challenge to bring government costs into line looks like. It is a startling contrast to the Democrats who fled the state to avoid helping their citizens. History will remember them as buffoons and cowards.

    March 9, 2011 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  6. GonzoinHouston

    If you have ever wondered what the current GOP agenda was really like, you need look no further than WI and Arizona. Give them enough power and they will enrich the wealthy and emasculate the middle class.

    March 9, 2011 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  7. Sorensen

    It is now time for a general strike in Wisconsin.
    Close down everything. Throw all the GOP fools out of office. General recall now.
    Stop fooling around. Action now.
    Walker and his fellow fools are finished.

    March 9, 2011 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  8. Chipster

    This is the Republican Party's plan finally coming together. They have pursued cutting taxes for the wealthy and increasing spending since the Reagan administration, perhaps before. Their plan to bankrupt the government to justify cutting social programs, redraw district lines to extreme boundaries to give Republicans more seats in our legislatures, rewarding Wall Street and outsourcing middle class jobs have all been designed to gain control for their corporate interests.

    They have used fear and prejudice to divide the American people with social issues like gay marriage, abortion, and school vouchers. Divide and conquer has been they game and they have played it well. How stupid do working class people feel for voting for leaders who outsourced their jobs? They managed to mislead, exaggerate, and even convinced voters that Iraq was involved in the 9/11 attacks. Don't pretend they didn't or make excuses! Bush and Cheney never made a speech about 9/11 without peppering the text with "Iraq" and "Saddam Hussein." They knew better. They lied! and lied and lied. They kept Americans fearful so they could control us. Shame on us for ignoring the warnings of those who were ridiculed and destroyed for telling the truth. Will we stand up now or is it too late?

    March 9, 2011 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  9. The Other Dale

    A sad day for Wisconsin. A sad day for the nation. Republicans have decided that the process doesn't matter and – acting like the cut-and-run crybabies that they are – refused to deal with the issue to work out a compromise and instead threw a tantrum. Good for Dale Schultz for having the guts to stand alone against this indecency! Good for the Democrats for DOING their job in trying to get results that help everyone instead of helping Walker's cronies. Evidently this was so important that a budget could be dropped in order to do it. What a mockery of the American system.

    March 9, 2011 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  10. Bessy

    All I can say is that everybody that voted for these Republican losers are getting exactly what they asked for. If they didn't vote at all, they have nothing to say. Maybe now, once and for all, people will finally get it that Republicans are trying to destroy the middle class. When 400 people in this country have more wealth that 1/2 of the countries population that certainly should tell us all something. The only thing to do now is get out there and vote to recall all of these Republicans. Every last one of them.

    March 9, 2011 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  11. GI Joe

    Bet it's a COLD DAY IN H*LL before another Republican governor is voted in - in ANY state. The entire country is watching this dictator and we want no more.

    March 9, 2011 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  12. BN4Real

    Hey Michelle Bachman, this is what you call ":gangster government".

    March 9, 2011 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  13. stevetall

    Shame on Governor Walker and the Republican legislators in Wisconsin for demonstrating themselves to be no more than common weasels. Crushing the middle class in favor of the rich is an age-old problem that leads to revolution. Maybe it's time again for the many to rise up against the few. The only solution is, "TAX THE RICH! THE RICHER THEY ARE, THE MORE THEY NEED TO BE TAXED. NO MERCY!"

    March 9, 2011 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  14. Rob R

    People who study the whole Mayan calendar thing say the end of that calendar really means the start of the new period of enlightenment. With everything going on in the Middle East and now all of this crap being pulled by Republicans I kind of have to think they may be on to something. I think people are so fed up with tyranny and corruption that people are really starting to explode. What happened in Wisconsin is going to fuel that fire even more. By election day 2012 I wouldn't be surprised if Obama wins all 50 states (well maybe not Mississippi or South Carolina).

    Things cannot continue to go on the way they are. The rich cannot continue to get richer while the poor get poorer without some kind of major world uprising.

    I think we are in for some very interesting times over the next couple of years.

    March 9, 2011 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  15. sbast18

    Time to pick your heads up for a look around folks. Endure massive taxation that you can't pay or...not. Buh bye unions – and it's happening all over the USA. The days of me me me me me me me are coming to an end.

    March 9, 2011 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  16. 228rory

    Maybe people will now come to realize that there are consequences associated with their vote. I would venture to say a large portion of state and public workers, who just had right taken away, voted to place the folks who took said rights, into office.

    March 10, 2011 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  17. J.V.Hodgson

    What a disgrace. It just shows how unbalanced the so called checks and balances become when there is always a devious way to achieve ones selfish ideological political ends. He now takes out the budget issues and just castrates the Unions and he still claims its not a political or ideological thing but a budget issue. What kind of BS is that.
    One problem he may have forgotten employees can still decide to strike and if his law bans that, Walker can and probably would send them all to Jail ,never mind it shuts down all the schools in Wisconsin.
    Problem he cannot be kicked out for almost 4 more years (Unless a recall vote is possible in Wisconsin) but watch Republicans lose big in any Wiscosin state or national elections because of this travesty of justice if not law which would then be repealed.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    March 10, 2011 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  18. gay republican

    How unfair. taxpayers usually love paying unions to live better and have more benefits than . . . . taxpayers hahaha! we pay union members salaries, who in turn pay 4 dems to be elected, who in turn screw people of the entire political spectrum in favor of. . . ? yes! unions! We are with u Gov. Walker and Republicans of Wisconsin. time to make a financial contribution.

    March 10, 2011 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  19. Anonymous

    what a shame. isn't the governor a public employee? where is his pay cut? his pension giveback or health benefit premium cost? or foe that case any politicians sacrifice? These big corporations receive tax break from the government and how do they return the favor, they fire American workers and hire Indian or Chinese workers for 2 dollars a day. great way of looking out for our country, but no to some here it is all the unions fault. did you ever consider if maybe your place of employment had a good union you would not be envious of a government worker. I remember when in the 90's people looked down at government workers but then your 401k went belly up ( having nothing to do with the union and everything to do with big business) and now government employee must give up everything they have that you did not want in the 90's because you lost your 401k. what a great direction this country and its people are heading to.

    March 10, 2011 02:30 am at 2:30 am |
  20. Motive

    u voted for him.

    March 10, 2011 03:48 am at 3:48 am |
  21. Marie MD

    The rethugs talk about autocracy of Middle East governments while doing the same at the state level.
    I wonder how many votes walker is going to get if he ever dare run in Wisconsin. That being said, you independents and republicans keep voting people like him to power.
    hitler would be proud!!!

    March 10, 2011 06:15 am at 6:15 am |
  22. Peter E

    Not suprising. We all knew their real priorities did not lie with any budget balancing. They were just using that as a screen to maks their desire to restrict workers' rights, and to keep passing tax cuts to their corporate buddies.
    The union has repeatedly offered to cave in on the budget issue, offering concession after concession. They offered basically everything republicans asked for budget-wise.
    But republicans don't care about the budget. They just use that as an excuse to take away people's rights, while continuing with deficit spending otherwise.

    Today's it's the teachers' job security. Tomorrow, it will be yours! Wake up America! Republicans want you to give up your workers' rights! They want to take your jobs away and give more money to their corporate buddies!

    March 10, 2011 06:15 am at 6:15 am |
  23. Limbaugh is a liberal

    So... they passed a bill with NO financial provisions and are STILL calling it a 'budget repair bill?'
    *Applause!*
    We thank God for republicans' AMAZING skill in basic arithmetics! Really, it amazes me how these people graduated from high school without any basic understanding of arithmetics.

    March 10, 2011 06:18 am at 6:18 am |
  24. jules sand-perkins

    Unrealistic union demands constitute a major portion of our nation's economic problem.
    It would be nice if this reality did not exist, but it does.
    Something for nothing does not exist, there is no free lunch, and an honest day's work is not worth four days' pay plus insurance benefits and retirement, even if workers use physical force to achieve their demands: in the end, there still will not be enough money to meet their demands, even if the workers cannot comprehend reality.

    March 10, 2011 06:19 am at 6:19 am |
  25. Rachel

    What aload of crap. All along the governor said collective bargining was a fiscal issue and the republican trolls pass a bill getting rid of collective bargining as a stand alone bill because turns out they decide it not fiscal issue. The republicans have no shame.

    March 10, 2011 06:19 am at 6:19 am |
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