Friday, February 25, 2011

House Republicans Passed Governor Walker's Budget Repair Bill In Wisconsin

Photo: Wiseye

Wisconsin has an alternative to fix the State's projected $3.6 billion deficit by establishing a non-profit State Bank with generated profits going to deficit, according to radio talk shows discussing the prospect. Walker's budget repair bill moves to Senate.

By H. Nelson Goodson
February 25, 2011

Madison - On early Friday just after 1:15 a.m., the majority of the House Republicans passed Governor Scott Walker's Budget Repair Bill after debating for more than 62 hours in session. Immediately after the vote, House Democrats became outraged because the Republican Speaker Pro-Tem Bill Kramer called to stop debate and abruptly allowed the Republicans to vote for it. The vote was opened and closed within seconds with 51-17 votes. Only 13 Democrtas were able to vote quickly by pushing the "no" vote button. But, 25 Democrats didn't have a chance to vote on the bill. Two Republicans are saying, that they voted for the budget, but the push button didn't record their vote. An Independent representative did not vote. Four Republicans voted "no" on Walker's budget bill. The Republicans voting against the bill were Richard Spenbauer from Oshkosh, Lee Nerison from Westby, Travis Tranel from Cuba City and Dean Kuafert from Neenah.
Republicans violated rules and laws by stopping debate to pass Walker's budget repair bill, according to Democrats. Republicans wouldn't let 20 House legislators from speaking on the bill and Democrats accused the Republicans of abusing power and illegally closing debate.
Democrat legislators chanted "shame, shame, shame" after Republicans began to walk out of the session. They will seek legal action to overturn vote.
The bandage repair bill makes major cuts in funding for schools, eliminates collective bargaining for state and public workers, cuts worker pensions and medical benefits, allows the sale of power plants without bids, cuts funding to K-12 schools and allows for medical funding programs and benefit changes without legislative hearings by the State.
On Thursday, some Wisconsin school workers have received preliminary layoff notices. One of them is Lisa Fitzgerald, a Hustisford school counselor and the wife of Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R) who supports Walker's budget, won't negotiate the bill and wants to also eliminate bargaining rights for workers.
Even 41 teachers and workers at Delevan-Darien High School where Governor Walker attended received preliminary layoff notices, as well. Reports by teachers at the high school indicate that Walker is losing support from Republicans being affected by the budget bill. 
The budget bill now heads to the senate for debate and approval, but 14 Senate Democrats have left the state to block the bill by preventing quorum. Democrats won't budge and say they will not return until Walker and the Senate Republicans remove the provision or section ending collective bargaining rights.
The Senate session needs 20 senators for quorum to approve fiscal bills. Today, it lacks one senator to complete quorum and to pass Walker's budget. Democrats say, the state workers and unions have agreed to Walker's concessions, but won't give up collective bargaining.
Walker wants to bust the unions by ending collective bargaining, except for wages, according to recorded prank caller posing himself as billionaire David Koch. Walker revealed how he and other Republicans conspired to deceit Senate Democrats into coming back to Wisconsin in order to reach quorum. How Walker and others thought of using trouble makers to disrupt the crowds of protesters and wanting ads by a third party to promote his budget bill.
Senate Republicans worked with Walker to pass a rule and revoking direct bank deposit for the 14 Democrats, to try and force quorum. The rule likely violates state workers right to direct deposit.
Peg Lautenschlager (D) former Attorney General in Wisconsin told the Madison dot com that Governor Walker most likely violated labor, ethics and election laws as exposed in the prank call by Buffalo Beast dot com from New York. The pranked call became a national embarrassment for Walker.
An inquiry by the State Government Accountability Board is underway to see if Governor Walker broke any ethics laws after hundreds of e-mails complaining and requesting an investigation were registered.
More than 200,000 pro-union protesters have gathered in Madison, since February 15 and have protested every day against Walker's push to end union bargaining rights. Some of the protesters have stayed overnight inside the capitol building in protest. Republican legislators passed a rule to close the capitol building on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. when the legislative sessions and public hearings end.
The Senate Republicans called another session on Thursday and sent senate staff and state police to the residences of the Democrats that have left Wisconsin, to check if they have returned. State police can't only try to convince a senator to return to Madison. Senators can't be taken into custody for breaking quorum.
Walker reaffirmed the State is broke and he has nothing to give. But allowing collective bargaining by state workers won't cost or make the state any money.
Walker threaten to layoff 1,500 state workers by next week and the State will lose $165 million dollars in refinancing the budget repair bill by Friday. Democrats agreed, that Walker doesn't have to layoff workers and he would be responsible for the layoffs and losing millions. Wisconsin has an alternative to fix the State's projected $3.6 billion deficit by establishing a non-profit State Bank with generated profits going to deficit, according to radio talk shows discussing the prospect. With at least 15% of people seeking loans and other business that generates income for a bank would actually create a millions for the State.
Walker and the State could face lawsuits for layoffs affecting school teachers and workers, according to school districts that would be affected by major cuts.
Numerous protests were reported throughout the state and are expected to pick up steam as people become affected by the major cuts.
More than 200 public officals and school board presidents from 20 cities, 41 towns and 22 counties announced their opposition to Walker's budget repair bill and the governor's intent to eliminate collective bargaining for state workers.
Non-partisan Wisconsinites have call on Governor Walker to remove the provision eliminating state workers bargaining rights and move forward.
Indiana House Republican Speaker Brian Bosma says, provision to end collective bargaining rights for workers is dead.Democrats fled state.
Ohio Senate Republicans plan to change bill to keep collective bargaining rights for state workers and avoid a Wisconsin bill block repeat.

House video session after Walker's budget repair bill vote:

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