Wisconsin Governor Moves to Silence Pro-Labor Dissent
February 28, 2011
First Governor Scott Walker announced that he was attaching to a budget-repair bill a scheme to eliminate most collective bargaining rights for state, county and municipal employees in Wisconsin. In the same measure, he proposed to restructure state government so that he would be able to consolidate decision-making authority over cuts in health programs and selling off public assets in his office.
The people objected, big-time, generating the largest protests in the state’s history. They even filled the Capitol with thousands of police officers, firefighters, state employees, teachers, students and their allies.
Then Governor Walker’s allies forced the bill through the state Assembly, holding an early morning vote open for so short a time—seventeen seconds—that the majority of Democrats were unable to participate.
“With having just a seventeen-second roll call, they silenced their legislators, but far more important the people we represent,” said Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, D-Kenosha.
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