Wisconsin Layoffs. On Thursday, Wisconsin’s political and governing crisis went from bad to worse.
In what had the feel of a hostage drama, with state workers as the bug-eyed captives, Republican Gov. Scott Walker threatened to start layoffs on Friday if his budget-repair bill wasn’t passed. However, it would take the 14 Democratic senators who fled Wisconsin for Illinois to return. According to all indications, they weren’t about to.
Meanwhile, state senate majority leader Sen. Scott Fitzgerald threatened to hit the runaway senators with a contempt resolution if they weren’t back in the statehouse by 4 pm central time. Democrats, for their part, said it was a stunt, that Fitzgerald didn’t have the power to find them legally in contempt and drag them to Wisconsin. As most people know who’ve been following the fall of civilization, Wisconsin-style, the governor says his budget-repair bill needs to pass because it contains provisions that will reduce costs for the state and municipalities.
The bill infamously includes language that would end most collective bargaining rights for public-employee unions. Walker, 43, is an American Republican politician who has been Governor of Wisconsin since January 3, 2011. He won the office in the general election on November 2, 2010, defeating Democratic candidate Tom Barrett, 52 percent to 46 percent. Previously, Walker was the County Executive of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin from 2002 to 2010, and a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1993 to 2002.
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