Wis. Lawmakers Cut Public Worker Bargaining Rights

By Esme Murphy, WCCO-TV

MADISON, Wis. (WCCO/AP) — Wisconsin lawmakers voted Thursday to strip nearly all collective bargaining rights from the state’s public workers, ending a heated standoff over labor rights and delivering a key victory to Republicans who have targeted unions in efforts to slash government spending nationwide.

The state’s Assembly passed Gov. Scott Walker’s explosive proposal 53-42 without any Democratic support and four no votes from the GOP. Protesters in the gallery erupted into screams of “Shame! Shame! Shame!” as Republican lawmakers filed out of the chamber and into the speaker’s office.

The state’s Senate used a procedural move to bypass missing Democrats and move the measure forward Wednesday night, meaning the plan that delivers one of the strongest blows to union power in years now requires only Walker’s signature to take effect.

He says he’ll sign the measure, which he introduced to plug a $137 million budget shortfall, as quickly as possible — which could be as early as Thursday.

“We were willing to talk, we were willing to work, but in the end at some point the public wants us to move forward,” Walker said before the Assembly’s vote.

Walker’s plan has touched off a national debate over labor rights for public employees and its implementation would be a key victory for Republicans, many of whom have targeted unions amid efforts to slash government spending. Similar bargaining restrictions are making their way through Ohio’s Legislature and several other states are debating measures to curb union rights in smaller doses.

In Wisconsin, the proposal has drawn tens of thousands of protesters to the state Capitol for weeks of demonstrations and led 14 Senate Democrats to flee to Illinois to prevent that chamber from having enough members present to pass a plan containing spending provisions.

But a special committee of lawmakers from the Senate and Assembly voted Wednesday to take all spending measures out of the legislation and the full Senate approved it minutes later, setting up Thursday’s vote in the Assembly.

Walker has repeatedly argued that collective bargaining is a budget issue, because his proposed changes would give local governments the flexibility to confront the budget cuts needed to close the state’s $3.6 billion deficit. He has said without the changes, he may have needed to lay off 1,500 state workers and make other cuts to balance the budget.

The measure forbids most government workers from collectively bargaining for wage increases beyond the rate of inflation unless approved by referendum. It also requires public workers to pay more toward their pensions and double their health insurance contribution, a combination equivalent to an 8 percent pay cut for the average worker.

Police and firefighters are exempt.

Union leaders across the county, including here in Minnesota, are expressing outrage.

Eliot Seide, the executive director of AFSCME Council 5, said, “our members are absolutely angry. This act of deceit, in the middle of the night over in Wisconsin, is shameful. It’s unprecedented and it’s probably illegal.”

The offices of AFSCME Council 5, the largest state employee union in Minnesota, are decorated with signs supporting Wisconsin workers.

The phone is ringing constantly with workers asking how they can help. And the union’s website is calling on workers to join protests in Wisconsin this weekend including one in Hudson on Sunday.

Gov. Mark Dayton said what happened in Wisconsin will not happen here.

“I don’t want that in Minnesota. We are better than that in Minnesota and we are proving that by all being together in a responsible way,” said Dayton.

There are a number of measures moving through the Minnesota legislature that would strip away union powers. Dayton has been careful not to throw around the word “veto,” but he’s made it clear he will act to prevent measures like this from becoming law here in Minnesota.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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One Comment

  1. Steven Levy says:

    Outrageous! The great state of Wisconsin has moved from a Democracy to a Dictatorship. Shame on the Governor, Shame on the Republicans and all those who have betrayed those they are supposed to represent, protect and defend.

    1. Ron says:

      neither the state of Wisconsin nor the US is a democracy. It is a republic and we are governed by laws with democratic processes. You only show your ignorance when you make these kind of posts.

      1. PSS says:

        Ron you an JA so or republic state and country with democratic processes is in shambles because of the rebublican politicians and now WISCONSIN IS NO LONGER A REPUBLIC PROCESS IT’S A DICTATORSHIP !!!!!!!!!!!!………………………IMPEACH WALKER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2. Brook Mueller says:

      they have not betrayed us who elected them, they are only doing what we, the majority of the voters want. This is how democracy works.

      1. Bill says:

        Brook, Ron, you both know that’s complete BS. Government is supposed to do what is RIGHT for ALL the people, not simply what the majority of voters WANTS. If government only did what the majority of voters WANTS, they never would have abolished slavery or given women the right to vote. The Republicans who voted for this bill in Wisconsin have betrayed their oath.

      2. Not BS says:

        Brook is correct. The people have spoken. Now leave it at that, wake up and accept the peoples voice.

      3. PAUL says:


    3. ok says:

      The protesters need to be beat down qdaffy style! Stop crying! The 14 dems you should be mad at they ran away!

  2. Mare says:

    And they wonder why people talk badly about Republicans!!

    1. HaHa says:

      Hey Mare,
      Your NightMare is my Dream

  3. Rachel Heatherington says:

    Scott Walker——-soon to be history, like the rest of the Republicans who did this act of stripping lowly state workers of their right to collectively bargain. This mostly affects women and others who always got the shaft, never got pay raises, etc. This won’t affect the budge one iota! Wisconsin is going backwards!

    1. mouse12555@yahoo.com says:

      i am personally satisfied that this will finally get done . I am 62, lost my full time position 2 years ago . Working part time without any heath insurance at all . I have to pay cash for my doctors visits . Why must I continue to pay for the benefits that I was never able to get in the corporate world . I can’t afford it . I think paying 50% of their retirement and 50 % of their health coverage is adequate under these difficult times .

      1. helper says:

        Yeah, but teachers and other public sector employees usually have a college degree they spent years and lots of $$ to earn. These are not your typical bartenders and construction employees.

        I’ll give you my shoulder to cry on though…

      2. just8 says:

        Well said mouse! Get real helper, do you know how many people are unemployed with bachelors as well as master degrees. Take a look at your next bartender, there is a good possibility he/she has a college degree. The last guy that painted my house had masters. Take a look around, you will be shocked to find how many cashiers and sales clerks have degrees. A real eye opener is your kids bus driver. Tons of advanced degrees there. Stop feeling sorry for public sector employees. They should have no more rights than the rest of us.

      3. steve says:

        Ya your tax will go down now that he busted the union HA HA HA HA

      4. Bill says:

        Mouse, if you didn’t like your job and benefits, at least you had the right to unionize to try to do something about it. (And if you had done so, maybe you wouldn’t be in the situation you now are!) That right was just unethically stripped away from these people.

        You think paying 50% of retirement and health coverage is adequate–well, so do the Wisconsin unions!!! They completely agreed to such a proposal! This whole discussion therefore has nothing to do with that. It’s all about whether people should have the right to unionize in an effort to improve or maintain proper treatment in the workplace, both financial and otherwise. The fact that you failed to use that right doesn’t mean that others shouldn’t have it.

      5. Bill says:

        just8, when you said “Stop feeling sorry for public sector employees. They should have no more rights than the rest of us.”, you’re absolutely right. But they also should have no FEWER rights than the rest of us either!!! You have the right to unionize if you desire. Why shouldn’t these people???

      6. shirley says:

        mouse1255@yahoo.com, You should have been able to negotiate ,a health plan, and a respectable wage, you couldn’t do this alone therefore , you organize a union who will negotiate for you and your coworkers. But forget that now, with walkers law in place , you have no negotiating power on anything. These union employees paid taxes just like everyone else did ,paid into their pensions, and insisted on a decent wage.I would like to say ,be glad your 62 and close to retirement and social security and medicare but the republicans will be chipping away at that also. Good Luck.

      7. How About Them Apples says:

        Mouse, those of you who are non-union won’t be able to cry me-too for a raise anymore, you’ll have to go it alone, good luck with that.

    2. he won election says:

      LOWLY, I bet most make MORE than I do.

    3. Helper lies says:

      The State called your food stamps are in

  4. Are you still crying says:


  5. Pony says:

    Can you site your source please?

    1. Deb says:

      wikileaks, are you slow???

      1. ok says:

        Deb more lies, put down the stupid pills you will overdose!

    2. pablopayne says:

      Look it up Pony. It’s old news. 2.5 GPA. Expelled for cheating.

  6. Victim Du Jour says:

    I think this will make the State of Wisconsin free to put people to work during hard times, and it bothers Democrats.

    You won’t have to sit around on extended unemployment.

    1. Deb says:

      hahahhahahahhahah you very funny!

      1. Charlie says:

        Deb, Make a point already or go away…

    2. Mike says:

      Walkers actions will have the same effect it does in southern states without collective bargaining, the quality of education will suffer. It’s that simple. The states with collective bargaining have the best test scores and college placement in the country. Republicans are short sighted, but greed does that to you.

      1. Patrick says:

        Are you for real! It don’t matter how much money we spend. Teachers should teach and not worry about becoming the next millionare and retiring at 55 yrs old.

    3. PSS says:


      1. Walker says:

        Hey PMS
        Would you like a little cheese with that Whine. Perhaps some of those (benifits) should be looked at next. Thank You for the heads up.

    4. shirley says:

      And Victum Du Jour, you will be working for minimum wage and forget about negotiating any thing better. With walkers law in place , they will tell you how much your wage will be and minimum benefits. good luck with that.

      1. Come around goes around says:

        Hey Shirley
        Why should the rest us us at Minimum wage pay for your great benifits and we pay thru the nose for them if they are even offered. You seem to forget about all of us that pay your wage and great benits package and we don’t have a choice. Time to buck up and take it like the rest of us. You libs seem to like things equal, take away from you and I still pay more for the same. Not quite equal yet either.

  7. Deb says:

    BYE BYE Republicans

  8. Darren says:

    Congrats to the Govenor on starting something that will and needs to happen in other states. I applaud you for making the hard but right decision. Our government has gotten too big, local,city,county,state and federal governemtn is out of control. The majority of expense is payroll and beneftis. Health Insurance ,Welfare all need to be reformed,.We all have had it too good for too long. Here is what I have known as a taxpayer in the private sector. I did not have a cost of living raise in 5 years, I did not have a merit raise in 5 years. I work for an excellent company. They continue to pay for the majority of my health insurance instead of giving me a pay raise and I can surely understand that in these hard times. When the public sector on average gets more benefits (notice I didn’t say pay) a better pension then the private sector and when the government has hired 40% more workers then the private sector that means the government is getting bigger, not the private sector. And who is is that pays the public sector?? It is the private sector. I used to belong to a union when I was younger, they took my first 2 paychecks as a 16 year old kid to be a member of the union. I was making $3.35 an hour back then. Kind of stinks when I have to do a months worth of labor before I can even start collecting a paycheck. So how much does your union cost you? How many weeks of pay each year goes to your union?

    1. Deb says:

      I hope it hits you in the gut, and it will!

    2. Dano says:

      Your a Moron. Ya we all make to much money. We all have it too good.
      Keep supporting the rich. And just so you have a clue, this is 2011, not 1968

      1. Ron says:

        Hi Dano,

        can you define “rich”?

    3. Mike says:

      Darren- When I worked as a union Machinist in 1978 I made $13.50 an hour.
      Today, thirty years later the fortune 500 company I work for with no union starts a Machinist at $15.00 and hour! Kind of stinks, doesn’t it?

  9. Randax says:

    On Wisconsin! I’m glad to see this anti-government union pro-taxpayer bill on its way to becoming law.

    Private sector unions are great, but government employee unions contain an inherent conflict of interest and should be outlawed.

    The Repubs played by the rules and did what needed to be done for the future of the state. The Dems broke the rules and attempted to block the rule of law by hiding out in Illinois so their supporters could continue to enrich themselves at the taxpayers’ expense. I’m glad the right team one.

    1. Deb says:

      not they didn’t, what they did was unAmerican and illegal!

      1. Ron says:

        you are a typical, ill informed democrat. I pray our republic will survive the impact of idiots like you.

      2. Chris says:

        Deb, Just stop it already!

        So you do not like it… so what?

        That doesn’t make it unamerican or illegal…

        But there should be something done about you saying things that are not true!

      3. Go back says:

        Hey Deb! Go back to school and learn how to do a sentence correctly! Duh!

      4. just8 says:

        Define illegal. Shouldn’t it be illegal to require public employees to pay into a democratic union? Yes, the unions distribute voting material to it’s public sector employees. It’s like members are cattle or something. Weird.

      5. Bill says:

        The Dems broke no rules. All the rule breaking in this case was, and continues to be, on the Republican side. Illegally held meetings, passing fiscal bills without a quorum present, illegally locking doors to meetings required by law to be open to the public, etc. etc. etc.

    2. Mike says:

      Randax-The Democrats in WIsconsin have not broken any rules or laws, they are supporting the interest of their constituents. Republicans, including Walker now face a very angry electorate that will start the collection of signatures for their recall. This isn’t over, it is just the begininnig of the largest disenfranchised group of public and private workers this country has ever seen. This weekend will bring the largest group of protestors to Madison, Wisconsin to date.

    3. PAUL says:

      the rebublican play by their own rules and if they need to they just make up rules as they go so they always win well they bought the rope made the noose now LET THEM ALL HANG IN THERE OWN NOOSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL DEMOCRATES!!!!!!

  10. scott says:

    No matter what side you may take on this –you’re next. If you are employed (union or not) be guaranteed that your employer is watching this and will use this ideology to level or lower the field for you. Granted that it may not be immediate or as obvious, but it will come.

  11. Dano says:

    If you want to see communism in action, just watch the Republicans of Wisconsin.

    1. Chuck says:

      Dano, Stop the BS… you are so over the top… what color is the sky in your world?

  12. Vic says:

    Your democrats caused this foreclosure mill by deregulating the lenders back in 1997. This in turn affected the entire economy, no spending, no making products, no jobs. It took republican to regulate the lenders in 2007, but it was already too late.

    1. Tea and peas says:

      Vic – this rates right up there with the BS Greats of All Time.
      The GOP was as much a party to this all as the DFL. That said now we get the GOP wanting to continue to remove every frickem oversight committee out there so the Big Money can reap and hord even more.
      And I’m a friggen Republican too – but this stuff is reaching to far up the food chain for me to stomache it any longer.
      Will I vote for the Lib’s in days ahead???? That’s now a bonafide question

      1. MNTP says:

        Shame on you, Tea! Slick Willie and Obammy created this problem. You should be helping the GOP, not bad mouthing it! We won a great victory today!

      2. HappyWanderer says:

        Thank you for one of the more logical answers to this forum. It was Both Republican and Democrats that caused the housing market mess. BUT, it was the Greedy large banking industry and Wall Street Hedge funds that made it all possible. The Republicans relaxed oversight and the Banks made bad loans that they then sold, knowing that they no longer would be responsible for those loans.
        The Teachers Union in Wisconsin Agreed to ALL of the Governors’ requests for pay cuts, pension and health care cuts, and All they wanted to keep was their right to Collective Bargaining. Walker’s sole purpose was to break the Unions. NOT balancing the budget.

  13. American says:

    I’m a Mechanical Engineer for a small private company, public union workers losing their collective bargaining rights will not affect my wage and in fact those rights have never affected my wage except maybe lower it. The alternative to removing these rights is raising taxes on the successful businesses like the one I work for and me since I too am successful, thus reducing my wage. By the way I don’t have a pension plan and pay a good share of my insurance cost and I’m doing just fine and have no problem paying my fair share. O no, they’re going to base workers pay and benefits on THEIR PERSONAL PERFORMANCE, it’s going to be the end of the world…..Give me a break!

    1. Slim says:

      Deb, Are you slow? BTW, what was your point?

    2. Mke says:

      Mechanical Engineers are a dime a dozen if the Republicans open up those work visa’s as happened under Ronald Reagan. Your really naive if you truly believe that this will not eventually effect you.

    3. lisa says:

      Union workers DO pay their fair share. We pay taxes just like you. We pay into our pensions. We pay union dues. We are in no way spoiled. We just have someone protecting our rights. You could form a union too, so quit crying…

  14. Charlie says:


    1. Sorry Charlie, You're a Tuna says:

      You’re okay with the fact that he didn’t get expelled, he just cheated. That’s pretty sad.

  15. Are you still crying says:

    more lie from helper

    1. Blue Dog says:

      Reading most of the posts lately they fall mostly into 2 categories
      1. Half accurate information twisted about to fit one’s viewpoint that do nothing to help the world at large.
      2. Half thought out responses to the first.
      Anything that would appear to be thought out gets the first kind of comments followed by more half thoughts

      1. Thad Erickson says:

        Couldn’t agree more!

  16. disturbed citizen of America says:

    Don’t you realize thtat this is revoking acontract with the state employees that his representative okayed and the legislature okayed? By conceling this contract what other contract will he decide doesn’t need to be honored? Aid for poor families, health care for the poor, a roads project he doesn’t like even though there is a signed contract for the work.
    He doesn’t approve of his empoloyees not paying into their retirement and health care. HOWMUCH DOES THE GOVENOR AND STATE LEGISLATURE PAY INTO THEIR OWN RETIREMENT AND HEALTH CARE? Maybe he should think about that. It seems to me that whats good for the goose should be good for the gander..

    1. Rebecca in Wisconsin says:

      Actually this bill requires the governor and those in the state legislature to pony up as well… they are going to have to pay into their health care and pensions, and actually will have to pay a slightly higher percentage into their pensions than what is being asked of the rest of the state workers….I guess you are just one of the many that did not actually read the bill yourself.

      1. Annoyed says:

        @ Rebecca: I guess you didn’t read the bill as well, these “changes” for the state legislature don’t actually go into effect until their next term. Do a little research before you speak…

  17. BS says:

    I can’t wait for this to happen in Minnesota.

    1. Patrick PatPat Lilja says:

      Not happening here. Why not move away then if you want it to happen so badly?

      1. scott says:

        Really? Well here’s the start-https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bin/bldbill.php?bill=H0192.0.html&session=ls87

    2. kg says:

      I really hope it happens in MN too! Won’t happen with Dayton in office though. I almost enrolled in grad school this spring to become a teacher. The biggest reason I changed my mind? Unions. Fortunately for me I escaped further brainwashing of “higher education” and saw the light at the young age of 23. I’ll keep working for the big private corporation that I work for now that gave me health, dental, life, LTD, and STD insurance as well as 401k and a pension starting day one of my employment. Evil private sector corporation, huh?

    3. Mike says:

      This will not happen here in MInnesota. We have a Democratic Gov. who supports “WE THE PEOPLE”, not the me society, Republcans want.

    4. Not BS says:

      If this happens in Minnesota I will believe again in Government of the people for the people. Not for niave Liberal dreams of Government vs Taxpayers, which until now the people and not libs have voted and I believe again.

    5. Stan says:

      News Alert, Union Members in Wisconsin can move to Minnesota, Gov. Mark Dayton is reporting he will NOT do what is happening in Wisconsin today. Oh, please tell me what I want to hear, Dayton won’t have a choice down the road, looks like he will be cutting cost too but he is planning to do it behind closed doors.

    6. pss says:

      It will NEVER happen our Gov. Dayton is Pro-Union …………………..ONE MORE FOR THE GOOD GUYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!so bs your full of BS

  18. fred says:

    Get this guy out before he takes all of us down and take that pin off the front of your jacket your no american!!!!!!!

    1. Right Wing says:

      I forgot to add I served 4yrs Iraq and Afgan, I fought for your right to protest and free speech.atleast he is doing his part as a Gov. what are you doing!

    2. lim from wbl says:

      Dear right agreeing with gov walker is not unamerican. He relies on people like you who vote against their own interests

      1. lisa says:

        very tue lim!

  19. pablopayne lies says:

    @pablopayne site the source I think your just a lier

  20. Right Wing says:

    I am still waiting for you to say something smart!

  21. Pro Union- Pro American says:

    Vic, pull your head out. Big business (republicans) move all manufacturing jobs to third world countries in the name of profits, leaving Americans with little or no decent jobs. How can a economy like ours survive? We just get trickled on. Now we send our money to Japan and Korea for cars, leaving small towns across this country with empty car part factories. Change has to come from big business, supplying good jobs and benefits in THIS country.

    1. Lower Middle Class man says:

      Pro union – Pro american

      Do you realize that is is high union wages that made the cost of a american made cars so high that made most american look to foreign cars in the 1st place.

      1. Bill says:

        Lower Middle Class man, you clearly haven’t a clue as to what caused the tumble of the American auto industry. It wasn’t the so-called “high union wages”. It was poor quality, lazy design, and overconfidence that brought that industry down. Yes, the unions were participants in those faults–but their existence played very little role in it, and the unions have actually played a major role in keeping the auto industry from collapsing completely.

        Next time, learn a bit before you post.

      2. paul says:

        do you realize that most of these foreign cars are put together in the ………………….UNITED STATES and they receive goverment subsadies also and goverment kickbacks that the BIG THREE don’t get !!!

    2. Patriot says:

      More like Pro Socialism. Why do you hate America so much? Unions destroy Freedom and Liberty!is it because you are envious of your betters ? Somebody has to dig the ditches

      1. M B says:

        Ahh yes, the old “It’s socialist because I don’t agree with it” mentality.

        Do you forget that the Unions are the reason that we have most of the workplace rights and benefits. Forty hour work weeks? Not if the unions go away. Holidays? Not for much longer. Paid time off? Nope. Benefits in general? Hope you didn’t want any of that, because if the unions go away, so will they.

        It’s not being envious of your better is they are using their position to take advantage of and dominate others. When you say, “take it or else” to people who have no other alternative, you’re nothing but an domineering abuser.
        “We were willing to talk, we were willing to work, but in the end at some point the public wants us to move forward,” Walker said before the Assembly’s vote.
        This is an outright lie. It’s convenient that he’s already trying to rewrite history. The unions were willing to take the benefits cuts, but WALKER refused to stop there. He HAD to have his Union Castration as well..

      2. Patriot says:

        MB, paid holidays are for those who have MADE something of themselves and DESERVE it. 40 hour weeks and overtime and all of that other nonsense are just extortion. Workers in this country are spoiled, overpaid and pampered. They need to learn their place and accept a fair wage instead of shaking down entrepreneurs like common gangsters.

        1. HappyWanderer says:

          Patriot, Maybe you could say that to the Upper Management of those companies, as THEY are the ones that have been making exorbitant wages while the lower down employees are not advancing at nearly the same rate. Check it out, 30 years ago, Upper Management made 40 times what the average worker made, NOW, Upper Management makes Over 400 Times what the average worker makes!!!

      3. paul says:

        YOU ARE SO RIGHT DANO COMMUNISM AND A DICTATOR…………next comes the stale bread and soup lines for the POOR PEOPLE of Wisconsin

      4. pss says:

        YOUR NO PATRIOT MAYBE AN IDIOT UNION DIDN’T DESTROY FREEDOM. Do you thing corporations would pay good wages and your working conditions would be this good , or only haveing to work only 40 hour per week NO THE UNIONS WORKED WITH THE GOVERNMENT TO GET THE …………FAIR LABOR AND STANDARDS ACT !!! maybe you should read it sometime and LEARN something . but if you honestly want to work for little or nothing and have poor working conditions and work 70 or 80 hour per week BE MY GUEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Stan says:

    @Helper, Your comment is dated reference the Unions setting the wages for employee’s, I grew up a Teamster and been through it all. The good days are gone and the so called jobs that the states can’t fire poor performing employee’s are gone to. You must have voted for your President, he too talks out of both sides of his mouth, Jesse is there today maybe Nancy and Mr Moore can come and tell you what you want to here. You should see how much the State is in debt……

    1. How About Them Apples says:

      Stan you couldn’t make a pimple on a Teamsters behind.

      1. Stan says:

        @How about them apples, Your correct and what happened to Jimmy Hoffa in July of 1975 ???? See you on welfare, I might beat you to the Social Security………Oh by the way I was paying my Union dues as Teamster in 1975….

        1. How About Them Apples says:

          Paying union dues does not by itself make you a good union member.
          Example: Ronald Reagan
          Unions are only as strong as their members. People like yourself are the reason
          union have declined. As soon as the going gets rough they turn tail and run, or want to give back everything they joined the union to get.

    2. stace34 says:

      There are just as many states in debt who don’t allow collective bargining for public employees as there are that do. The problem isn’t the unions or collective bargining. It is easy to pick a bad guy, unions, big business.

      The truth is our own greed caused the debt. We knew what big business was doing was shadey, yet we did nothing to stop it because the stock market was doing well. We knew that housing prices couldn’t continue to rise and mortgages were too easy to get. We did nothing because we wanted that new house, toys ect. Putting the mirror up to the actual problem isn’t fun or pleasent. So we choose a boggyman to blame for the problems.

      1. MARK from mntaxwaste.com says:

        well said stace34

      2. Fred says:

        Well put stace except the unions are not the evil ones here. The leadership of the unions like the leadership of corporations all have large faults. The fallout from the crash has not done damage to the upper class near as much as the middle and lower class have felt it. Pitting worker versus worker solves nothing for the workers.So it becomes easy to blame union workers for all of the problems of deficits. The venom is being felt by the people going to work trying to do a job, not the ones who do the spending. Why are they not telling the contractors that they have to take a cut from their bids for highway construction and rehabilitation. It is a 3 billion dollar industry? They should feel the pain, too.

      3. HappyWanderer says:

        What about those of us who played by the rules. Only bought a house we could afford, paid our bills on time, didn’t get all the new toys for ourselves, or go on extravagant trips, etc. AND STILL lost a ton in the Stock market because there were no checks and balances in it. Many of those checks were taken away by Republican administrations who favored BIG Business. Anybody see any of the heads of AIG, etc going to jail for all they did to cause this??

    3. Blue Dog says:

      If the state can get rid of under performing employees, then what is the big deal to try to get rid of the union? The Wisconsin Democrats were holding a line against the union in negotiations. The Republican Governor could have done the same. It comes down to politics.
      Please, what politician, political talking head is not talking out both sides of their mouths?
      Spend less many of you say. Most of medicaid goes to nursing homes. Walk into one, especially out state. They are not palaces. You should not cut the prisons. A case could be made for more death penalties, but that is a different argument.Time limits for welfare now. Roads are poor enough as it is. There are wasteful things money is spent on, but the Republican party that has access to such information obviously has not found much or you would have heard about it

      You give a good case for cutting education. Your ability to proofread what you wrote looks like it ended at the sixth grade level. Perhaps we could cut the cost of education in half with no ill effects.

  23. Gary says:

    you get what you vote for. Think next time before voting a republican in if you don’t like the results.

  24. Bob says:

    Way to go mr. Walker , about time someone shows leadership! Gov. Slugs

  25. Ed says:

    Too bad the Dems didn’t show up for work to do their job.

    Someone did their job and moved 4 Reps, maybe if they had more Dems show up to do their job They would of had a chance to vote it down.

  26. Finally says:

    If any of you had a business that was going bankrupt, you would do the same thing. It’s easy for you to sit here and spit out the blah, blah, blah, when you don’t have to be responsible. Finally a politician is being responsible, spending less, and following the rules. If you have a problem with the way they passed it, then you must have a problem with the Dem’s skipping town. Hat’s off to Wisconsin, well done. Can’t wait for this to happen in Minnesota….

  27. Kyle says:

    Do you people think we should privatize our public education system? The bill does cuts funding for schools and also does not allow for property tax increases locally to make up the difference. So, I would like to personally thank Walker for hurting my childrens education. Class sizes will increase. Good idea. Let’s not raise taxes on millionaires and billionaires to cut the deficit. Let’s have kids without jobs pay for it.

  28. finally says:

    If any of you had a business that was going bankrupt, you would do the same thing. It is easy for you to sit and spit out the blah, blah, blah, when you don’t have to be responsible. Finally a politician is being responsible, spending less, and following the rules. If you have a problem with the way they passed it, then you must have a problem with the Dem’s skipping town. Hat’s off to Wisconsin, well done. Can’t wait for this to happen in Minnesota….

  29. DaveM says:

    Lots of tears falling on the size XXXL green AFSCME t-shirts. Poor spoiled babies. Hopefully there will be some fat cat business agent positions cut, and they’ll have to go out and get real jobs instead of being leeches on working people’s paychecks.

    1. Smiling says:

      Hope the worker at the DMV takes a leak on your license renewal Dave.

      1. Dave says:

        Right, that’s something a Union worker or sympathizer would think of. They’re a whole different class of people.

    2. paul says:

      Dave M your an IDIOT not all public employees are fat cats there is NO WAY YOU COULD DO MY JOB AS WELL AS I DO So your saying that we DON’T need EMT’S DOCTORS, STATE PATROL, CLERKS AT THE DMV’S SNOW PLOW DRIVER’S WELL PERSONALLY I FEEL THESE PEOPLE ARE NEEDED AND DESERVE RESPECT as for you I think you need a swift kick in the ass …….but that might give you brain damage so we won’t do that we’ll just concider that your an IDIOT !!!!!!!!!!!

  30. no unions says:

    Ought to be a bounty on Democrats! They had mob money paying for these thugs to extort funds from the state, that the state can’t afford.
    Yeah you filled the Capitol with your angry mobs, but they don’t hold an effing candle to all the people in WI who VOTED for this !! What part of “you’re done fleecing us”, don’t you understand?
    Hope MN is next. They should simply vote to completely decertify the Govt. Unions…

    I for one, could NOT BE MORE THRILLED w/Gov. Walker.
    Way to go dude!

    1. pro union says:

      then again you suffer from oxagen deperfation so please pull your head out of your ass

  31. Richer than you says:

    And the Koch Brothers………………………….laugh.

  32. ohhellno says:

    Quick, somebody call the Military General and have him get our Troops back here. We are losing the rights that they and VETS have fought for…..

    1. Kim says:

      I am fairly certain that the veterans of this Country did not fight for unions… they fought for liberty and freedom. Now the people of WI have the freedom to be paid fairly for the work they do. No longer will the slackers be getting pay increases just because they are in a union… time for a reality check.

  33. stace34 says:

    Unions are not the reason that the state has a deficit. The recession caused by deregulation and big business are the reson there is a financial crisis in the state. To blame the middle class workers for the states problems is not fair nor true.

    This jiust shows how Governor Walker and his party work. Unions who fight for middle class are busted. Big business who caused the financial crisis will get a tax break.

    1. Stan says:

      @stace34, Rumor in Madison is that Nancy and Harry were in communication with Gov Walker, remember they all work together for their own agenda.
      You might want to go back and research the financial crisis, working people like all of us spending more than they could afford and then resorting to the Government for ther own mistakes and a free bailout.

      1. HappyWanderer says:

        Of course you would believe in Rumors, rather than the truth. Do you Not remember that the Big Banks and Stock Market Gurus caused most of the problems that we are now going through?? They were given free reign to use “Credit Default Swaps” to keep passing on the cost of all those bad loans the banks were giving out to people who they KNEW couldn’t afford to pay because if they SOLD that loan to another bank, they KNEW that they wouldn’t have to be responsible for?? Any of THOSE Crooks in Jail Yet?? No, Friends of GWB don’t go to Jail, they get BONUSES!!

  34. bob says:

    The police and firemen are exempt from this bill. Oh that’s right the police and firemen unions backed Walker in 2010. Never mind.

  35. MARK from mntaxwaste.com says:

    Way to go Walker! The people of Wisconsin voted and they won!! Great Job WI!!!
    Now lets do the same in Minnesota to those worthless unions!!

  36. just another personon this lowly planet we call Earth says:

    And so the political factions and corporate of this country have achieved their goals: pitting the people of America against each other. So much anger and hatred towards each other. So much of “look at what that guy has. How come I don’t get the same thing. That’s unfair!” So busy fighting over the loaf of bread that was thrown out in the yard that they forget about the bakery inside the castle. The king declares a small group as the “haves” then tells the ‘have nots’ to go get them and to take their ‘fair share’. And they sit back and watch the battle, satisfied that their riches are safely hidden away. And the people are so busy fighting that they don’t even notice everything they had was stripped away.

    1. HappyWanderer says:

      Right ON!! I wonder how long it will take before the rest of the people wake up and see that when they shop at Wal-Mart to get all those cheap prices, it comes at the stake of people in this country losing their jobs to the Chinese, etc.

  37. Iconoclast says:

    Teachers, cops and Government workers making a decent living or the the top income earners raking in hundreds of times the national average. Which one is a drain on the economy again? Which ones spend their money and which ones use their money to make more money and take it out of the system? Which ones work and which ones speculate? The money is there folks, the super rich are just pointing fingers at the last remaining members of the middle class while pretending their own life is so very hard. You blue color republicans are going to be the death of this country.

    1. HappyWanderer says:

      Thank You!

  38. Carolyn Jokela says:

    I think this decision shows that our culture values monetary profit more than educational development. Only time will tell if this legislation will help or hurt Wisconsin’s economy, but hopefully Minnesota will learn from what is happening use that information to better govern our own state.

  39. MS says:

    A CEO, Union member and Private company employee sit down at a table with 10 cookies. The CEO takes 9 and looks at the employee and says watch out, the Union guy is going to get your cookie.

  40. Bryson Powers says:

    I have nothing but hatred for this lousy Governor. He’s bought and paid for by the Koch refinery family. He was kicked out of Marquette University for cheating.Wisconsin is now The Turd Reich.

  41. MARK from mntaxwaste.com says:

    So Long Unions, your about to get your walking papers in Minnesota as well

    1. Mike says:

      Mark, stop acting like your Senator Craig picking up his next dance partner in the Men’s room. Your never going to see Governor Dayton signing legislation that destroys collective bargaining and reinforces the “me” society Republicans want.

    2. P says:


  42. unionsJUSTdontGETit says:

    GOOD! I do not like taxes going to the public unions so they can get 2x the benefits that I do doing the same job. We can’t afford (DUH!) to pay such benefits that are WAY HIGHER than the private sector. I support the WI GOV 1000%
    Let the unions negotiate like any other contractor and GIVE THE RIGHTS to the government WHO they wish to hire instead of FORCING them to pay higher fees for same services. UNIONS do NOT have the EXCLUSIVE right to bargain and HOLD HOSTAGE the states. THEY DO have the right to make their sales pitch to the state and if HIRED then they get the job, but the EMPLOYER, not the EMPLOYEE decides pay rates and benefits. LET THE UNIONS compete on a fair basis with private contractors instead of the CORRUPT left-wing monopoly they have had on our state governments.

    1. PS says:

      the unions don’t hire the workers for the state the state highers the workers they are not forced to higher anyone they do not want to hire as fore holding someone hostage ……………..walker is holding the state of Wisconsin hostage if the government hires privete firms to do the work they will be paying more NOT less and ALL OF YOU NAYSAYERS COULD ALSO HAVE STATE JOB ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS APPLY ……………………..and as for corrupt the RIGHT -WINGERS are just as bad ans the lift -wingers if NOT WORSE

    2. lisa says:

      You could have formed a union to get better benefits and conditions. Now, you can’t. Way to go…

  43. Thad Erickson says:

    As I’m typing this, there’s 72 comments listed. Of the people commenting, have ANY of you read the actually bill that passed? If you have, please let me know where you found it. I have been unable to get a copy of it anywhere, to see what is actually in the bill. I’ve heard the sound bites, and the punditry, but not the actual bill. That makes all of us uninformed parrots, which I personally find more outrageous than what the WI lawmakers might have done.

    1. Thad Erickson says:

      Nobody. Not one of you responded even claiming to have read the bill. You’re all sheep, for one camp or the other, and I’m ashamed to have been associated with any of you.

  44. C says:

    Hopefully Minnesota legislators can reign in tue uncontrolled spending like Governor Walker and the Wisconsin legislators did. These outrageous publicly funded pension plans will bankrupt our country if left unchecked.

  45. Possum Boy says:

    First, wh7y are law enforcement and firefighter unions exempt? If this is truly about fixing the bedget and the rest of the unionized government workers have to make sacrifices then why not als the law enforcement and firefighters? Also, with such exemption, does this not violate the 14th Amendment of Equal Protection under the law? Those unions should sue and tie it up into court, and imagine how much money will it be in trying to defend it. Bottomline, make Walker get under oath and take the stand and state on record as to his reasoning for singling out only certain unions, where he cannot just use sound bites.

  46. Possum Boy says:

    First, why are law enforcement and firefighter unions exempt? If this is truly about fixing the bedget and the rest of the unionized government workers have to make sacrifices then why not als the law enforcement and firefighters? Also, with such exemption, does this not violate the 14th Amendment of Equal Protection under the law? Those unions should sue and tie it up into court, and imagine how much money will it be in trying to defend it. Bottomline, make Walker get under oath and take the stand and state on record as to his reasoning for singling out only certain unions, where he cannot just use sound bites.

  47. Guy says:

    Does anyone remember the Madison Bus driver who made over $100,000?
    Check this link:

  48. Ed says:

    I am sick and tired of paying to much in taxes so these state and federal employees can retire 10-15 years before me on a cush pension. Finally somebody has some guts to stand up to this abuse of the publics money.

    1. paul says:

      state and federal employees don’t retire 10 to 15 years earlier than anyone else I have worked for the state for 12 years I will be 50 this year I still have almost 20 years to work before I will be able to retire without being penalized by paying more ine taxes if I chose to retire at 65 os our pensions are not as great as the rebublicans are trying to portay them Maybe you need to vent you frustration at those who cause the problem ……………..remember the BUSH years …both of them!!!

  49. JJ says:

    AHHH – Reverse Robin Hood alive and well. Take from the poor and give to
    the RICHER!!!

  50. Witn essing the dumbing of America says:

    I want public employees to be paid minimum wage with no benefits or vacations. My taxes pay for their salaries and how dare they have it better than me. I also want CEOs to pay no taxes on anything so they can hire me to paint their mansions and wax their Mercedes. I thank God I have a job that pays dirt, has no benefits and am subject to being fired at my boss’ whim.

    Am I a public sector worker in India or Wisconsin?? Is there a difference??

    By the way, Mark from taxwaste.com is my hero. So is Bernie Madoff.

  51. Shame, shame, shame says:

    A governor models bullying. Nice job Governor Walker.

  52. Marcia (love Wisconsin) says:

    My husband belonged to a union early in his career and worked hard. Some of his fellow workers would crawl into big parts pins and sleep and they made the same wages as my husband. Some would show up drunk and get suspended. They would appeal and the union would get their jobs back. Fair? Not in my book. I would rather negotiate my own salary and benefits and if I don’t like what they offer quit and get a new job. The union negotiates your salary and then you pay them part of your salary. That doesn’t work for me–your choice but don’t expect that I will be happy to pay your salary and benefits by my state increasing my taxes. My last point. When unions stop almost totally supporting Democrats for election including our President, they would have more value, but as a Republican I think that is unfair. Democratic governors agree to the contracts and then accept money for re-election. That really smells like self serving to me. Justify that to me if you can. And by the way, are the unions stepping up to pay for the cleanup of the capitol in Madison? I bet not. Fair?

    1. Stan says:

      @Marcia, Very well written…

    2. PAUL says:

      and republicans NEVER take money from anyone YA RIGHT HA HA HA HA HA YOU are a hippacrite ………..

  53. Marcia says:

    Bob you better do your homework–very few of the police and fireman unions supported Walker. I dare you to research that and clarify your statement.

  54. Bigbri says:

    Why all the bickering of the union, what about the senator’s, Legislator’s, and governor. They work for 4 years and get a pension and ritrement. I don’t know any job that you have to work 4 years and get a retirement benifit like that. Why don’t they cut thier wages and get rid of the pensions they don’t deserve. Now that would be a big savings to any state!!! But nobody looks at that, because the Goverment keeps the focus on other unions and stuff, so they leave them alone!!!

  55. Patrick says:

    Now Scott Walker should send the bill for all the damages done to our capital building by these greedy state employees directly to the unions. Then he should get some quote for the repairs from some good hardworking non-union contractors. Oh and I’ll bet he gets a very fair price. Now, tell me that stings don’t it…LOL

    1. paul says:

      patrick maybe you should volenteer to clean it up right after you finish licking Walkers boots

  56. Jay says:

    I cant believe Mn news still hasnt reported the death threat emails received by some republicans! Want to read it. Check out Eau Claire televison station it is there.

  57. Locomotivator says:

    How can so many of you Republicans act like traitors to the middle class you probably belong to? It’s un-American and shameful.

  58. jmac says:

    Most of you people are morons. Do you really think that the Republicans care about you or the Wisconsin budget? I don’t see them taking a pay cut or paying into their insurance…it’s all your money that they are being paid with and paying for their insurance. Not one of them stepped up and said, “I am willing to cut my paycheck”. The only reason any of you have any kind of working safety, pay or insurance is because of Unions. We fought long and hard to get working rights for every one of you, not just for Union workers. And all of you non-Union contract employees……do you think you will have any negotiating at your next contract? No, there is no more room for collective bargaining or negotiation for you soon either. It begins with Unions and ends with everyone starving and making less.

  59. gmonday says:

    recall on the fact that he obtain the concesssion and still damaged wisc. credit. that hurt everyone

  60. jjr says:

    the hell with polotics CHARLIE SHEEN IS AWSOME!!!

  61. jmac says:

    One more thing of interest. Isn’t it funny that the Republicans/Walker and his ilk are blaming all of their troubles on the Unions and Hitler blamed all of his counties trouble on the Jews? The Republicans and G. Bush created this whole mess and needed someone to blame it on but it isn’t their fault.

  62. winning says:

    how do you equate this to corporations profits????? OH I suppose that tax payers are a corporation in your mind.

  63. One of those evil public employees says:

    If I understand this article correctly, it says that most public employee unions will not be able to negotiate a wage increase above the rate of inflation without a referendum. What am I missing here?? Why is this bad?? It doesn’t say you’ll never get a raise. It means the majority of your constituents will decide if you get a raise–sounds like a good form of merit pay to me. Do a good job, people won’t complain about you getting a raise. It actually seems like it gives the power back where it belongs–to the voters. Which if I’m not mistaken, will include the public employees. These are tough times for everybody, we can all get through this. When I took my job just out of college, it was because I wanted the job, not the pension or the bargaining rights. Young people who want to teach will teach. This won’t stop the the good ones.

  64. ok says:

    Republicans are not against poor people. We just don’t think that the solution is punishing people who work hard and are successful. I think that it is a perfect analogy to the liberal mindset.

    The rich keep getting richer because they keep doing the same things that got them rich in the first place.

    Ditto for poor people.

    1. the crux of the biscuit says:

      And that would be what, having a rich old relative die and leave you a ton of cash, just the oposite for the poor. One might also argue the rich simply have the game rigged in their favor and by taxing them, it is the only way thety can be made to contribute to the common good…..

  65. Dave says:

    Sure are lots of tears falling on the size XXXL green AFSCME t-shirts. Poor spoiled babies. Hopefully there will be some fat cat business agent positions cut, and they’ll have to go out and get real jobs instead of being leeches on working people’s paychecks.

  66. Look at all the stupidity!!! says:

    It is funny that people do not only attack others politics but also attack the person making the comment. Did I miss something here, is this not still a blog? Then I would have to say that those of you who are attacking people that post here should be ashamed. You having an idea is no more important to any other person and should not be considered any different.
    That being said, I would like to remind all of you that say “repubs won the election and are doing what they were elected to do, get over it already” should not be the same people that are crying about every Mark Dayton story on this site. Take some of your own medicine and stop talking bad about him and then turn around and tell someone else to stop talking about your elected reps. Also for most of you the irony is, YOU DID NOT ELECT THESE PEOPLE, most of the posts here are from people living in MN. Think about that before you call someone stupid for saying this is wrong.

  67. Get Your Facts Straight says:

    To the previous posters ripping on the police and fire unions–Please do your homework before spouting “facts” just to get a rise out of people. The Police and Fire are not exempt from this bill because they supported Walker. They are exempt because they currently do not have the same bargaining rights anyway. By Federal law they cannot strike. They would be fired immediately and charged with Federal crimes. They have binding arbitration to settle union negotation disputes. Maybe some other unions should try it… Just because you obviously hate cops and fire fighters doesn’t mean you get to bash them for no reason other than you’re a jerk.

  68. lisa says:

    The people who say “Good, i dont want to pay their wages and benefits. they are spoiled., and i don’t have it that good.” Well guess what??? YOU HAD THE RIGHT TO FORM A UNION TO IMPROVE YOUR WORKING CONDITIONS! Now, you don’t. Congrats, morons…

  69. HELPER says:

    Fellow Democrats,

    DO NOT DESPAIR! This is actually good news for us. Democrats will be a shoe-in in 2012 across the board. Wide polling shows most people do not agree with this and will bvote democratic.

    OBAMA 2012 We will take back the tyranny!!!!

    1. MNTP says:

      I think you meant “bring back the tyranny ” of Obammy the Islamofascist illegal alien. Typical socialist…

  70. Marv says:

    If the federal workers had collective bargaining rights, would they have stood for their 2yr wage freeze? I don’t recall tens of thousands of protesters there.

  71. rick says:

    there are some brave republicans in wisconsin. you don’t mess with unions. people will probly die over this

  72. Rae says:

    I know union people are going to hate me but I am going to say my say. I am all for getting control of unions because they are out of control. I grew up watching the United Mine Workers beat people, even kill if they thought it necessary. Violence and intimidation was thier motto. When I was a kid members of the UMW tried to tell us how to run our business or they were going to make sure we did not have one. We were a restaurant!!! Unions do not care if they break the bank of a state or a company, they don’t care about anyone but the money they make off of the working man. NONE OF YOU UNION MEMEBERS CARE ABOUT WHERE THE MONEY COMES FROM TO PAY YOU – JUST SO YOU GET YOUR CHECK! Which do you prefere – being unemployed or losing your collective bargaining rights? WISCONSIN IS BROKE and all you union members want is your money, your rights. Oh raise taxes, raise taxes, raise taxes to pay you. NO!!!!! I am unemployed because my job went overseas because my company did not want to have the union come in. I have no taxes to give you. THERE IS NO MONEY!! WAKE UP UNION MEMBERS!!! Where is they money going to come from to pay you? Not out of my pocket. Your hands are already in there deep enough. I need to feed my own family. Personally, I hope you all lose your jobs. When you can’t pay your union dues, we’ll see how fast they drop you. Come to my world.

  73. tryecrot says:

    Yes there should realize the opportunity to RSS commentary, quite simply, CMS is another on the blog.

  74. Billigflug Istanbul Sabiha Lahore says:

    Text Produce,scheme shut construction warm secondary before scientific through drink either cheap opinion come data social tone launch explanation admit close form develop former noise prevent fresh recognise lay feature responsible defence station feeling fund immediate century seem tonight lovely roll fashion worry average travel come museum entry before modern win with round light theory cash conduct rock loan phone detailed attack conversation consumer worker rise ready bar legislation both note act realize unlikely observation passage girl own arrange sun middle administration few range project corporate approach affect what where master glass equipment labour simple her

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