Madison – After a wild and raucous night at the State Capitol, the scene inside the building Thursday morning looks just like it was a few weeks ago when protesters camped out overnight.
At 6:30 a.m., there were dozens of people who stayed the night and were camped out in various locations in the building.
Of particular concern to police are a few dozen protesters who spent the night in the antechamber of the Assembly. The Assembly is scheduled to go into session at 11 a.m. Thursday to consider the bill on collective bargaining that the Senate approved last night in mere minutes.
A number of protesters said they had no intention of leaving the area Thursday.
the Democrats told the Republicans that there would be no further negotiations; the Republicans said “Fine” and took the bill to the floor; and the Democrats were left looking stunned, stammering, and standing there with their naughty bits in their hands.
While it might be a bold political move, the changes are modest. We ask government workers to make a 5.8% contribution to their pensions and a 12.6% contribution to their health-insurance premium, both of which are well below what other workers pay for benefits. Our plan calls for Wisconsin state workers to contribute half of what federal employees pay for their health-insurance premiums. (It’s also worth noting that most federal workers don’t have collective bargaining for wages and benefits.)
Governor Walker and the Republicans can talk all they want about the need for limiting union power to elect their bosses who will then turn around and give in to whatever the unions demands no matter how they are creating the destruction of local and the state governments. Their answer is to raise taxes so that non-public workers can pay for those state employees can keep their comfy benefits. Unless those non-public employees get motivated to come out for these elections, the unions will be able to overwhelm turnout.
That is why Governor Walker, as the most prominent spokesman, needs to be out there. Those legislators up for recall need to be out there also. They need to explain that the union solution is to raise everyone’s taxes so that there will be more money for public employee workers. The can point out how, in states that elected Democrats, like neighboring Minnesota and Illinois, the solution for deficits is raising taxes. Tell the voters that the choice is between their paying more so that public employees can get better salaries and better benefits than they do. Tell them, as Governor Walker does in his column, that the voters have the opportunity to make sure that the unions don’t mandate that, in times of layoffs, the better teacher keeps his or her job, not just the one who has been there longer. Put it in terms that they understand. And one more recommendation for Governor Walker, get more examples than your brother. Every time I see him or read him, he’s using his brother as his example. Mix it up a bit.
But the GOP is fighting now to keep their majority. And the union will be able to get their people out there. Notice how they were able to get hundreds of their members out to the state Capitol last night in a short period of time. Imagine what they’ll do with time to prepare for these elections. The fight is on.
In Madison, the school district was closed for three days after hundreds of teachers engaged in a mass sick-out so they could attend protest rallies at the State Capitol. That could cost the district $2.7 million.
Mary Bell is president of the Wisconsin Education Association Council. She said on Sunday that it’s time for her members to return to work. For districts that do not recognize Monday as the President’s Day holiday, she said teachers should go to work. Others should report as scheduled on Tuesday.
Bell says teachers will continue opposing the proposal.
On one side are wide swathes of the country that this past midterm elected reformers intent on slashing spending and reviving growth. On the other are the holdout pockets—Illinois, California, Massachusetts, Connecticut—drifting further into the abyss of tax and spend. The chasm has huge implications, not just for local and regional politics but for Washington.
For instance (quoting from the article),
Wisconsin is working to enact the total elimination of corporate income taxes for two years for firms that migrate
In Ohio, John Kasich’s Republican legislature has already introduced legislation to kill the state death tax
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s first order of business will be to end the 22% surcharge on his state’s job-killing business tax
Nevada’s Brian Sandoval has vowed to kill the tax hikes passed by Democrats in 2009
In Iowa, South Carolina, Florida, you name it, new Republican governors have made top priorities of cutting or eliminating state corporate income taxes