Wisconsin Dems Furious Over Vote In Their Absence

MADISON, Wis. (CBS) — The proposal to strip collective bargaining rights from state employees may have passed the Wisconsin senate, but the battle is far from over.

The 14 Democratic state senators had been hiding out in Illinois to forestall the budget proposal by Gov. Scott Walker, but the Republican-controlled Senate found a way to pass it without them using a procedural move.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports

The Senate requires a quorum to take up any measures on spending money. So the Republicans took all the spending measures out of the legislation, and the Senate passed the bill a short time later.

The bill passed 18-1 without discussion or debate.

The measure drew immediate reaction in Senate chambers.

“You are cowards!” spectators in the Senate gallery screamed as lawmakers voted. Within hours, a crowd of a few hundred protesters inside the Capitol had grown to several thousand, more than had been in the building at any point during weeks of protests.

“The whole world is watching!” they shouted as they pressed up against the heavily guarded entrance to the Senate chamber.

Meanwhile, Walker praised the move.

“I applaud the Legislature’s action today to stand up to the status quo and take a step in the right direction to balance the budget and reform government,” Walker said in the statement.

The state Assembly is expected to vote on the measure Thursday.

The Democratic senators, who remain in Illinois, say their Republican colleagues’ actions are illegal.

“They took about six decades worth of strong bi-partisan pro workers rights in the state of Wisconsin and squashed them within two hours,” said Wisconsin state Sen. John Erpenbach (D-Middleton.)

Erpenbach the Democratic senators will stay in Illinois. He says the GOP’s actions violate the Open Meetings Act, and he believes the situation will end up in court.

The measure approved Wednesday forbids most government workers from collectively bargaining for wage increases beyond the rate of inflation. 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.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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.)

  • Jim

    The Democrats weren’t at work so did they really expect the state to shut down? I consider their actions as them quitting their jobs to be honest. Most of these protesters are paid by the unions to protest in the capital so any of their words are useless to me. The REAL WISCONSIN workers who voted these politicians in had their voices heard. Even though the unions tried to show their power. This is proof that even the little guy wins sometime! This is definitely good for the state of Wisconsin and hopefully the trend continues throughout the nation!

  • jim's Mother

    Your an idiot, this has nothing to do with them this has to do with the 120 million walker gave away when he took office, this is not the first time he has created a fake crisis to grant more power to his corporations. He is an inbreed shill with no soul and should be removed from office. This was all a ploy to get at the power plant. and if you think i am wrong lets see what happens in a year. And you sound like a shill your self!

  • Jim's Grandfather

    Now Now Children, just wait unil the State runs out of money and human services are cut back or totally eliminated, you havent seen anything yet, its just the beginning. Just look around with eyes wide open.

  • Jim Bo

    This move signifies the beginning of the end of the middle class as we know it. The governor targeted the weakest of all unions. It’s only a matter of time before the the police, firemen and state workers see their unions evaporate over time.

    • Jim's Mother

      Thank you jim bo! I think jim just doesn’t understand to more you give away the more they take, there is no giving back anymore.

      • Jim Bo

        @JIM “This makes the “privileged class” more in line with the middle class so I do not see where you’re going with this? Unions will still be around; just not sucking away my tax dollars as much anymore.”

        You just don’t get it do you? This move is where it ALL starts. Union or Non Union.
        It’s going to develop into a “Trickle Down Effect” that will affect all workers across the nation in some shape or form.

      • Jim

        This makes the “privileged class” more in line with the middle class so I do not see where you’re going with this? Unions will still be around; just not sucking away my tax dollars as much anymore.

  • Big Country

    Its about time they did something about the public sector unions. They have been bleeding the “middle class” taxpayer to death. The public sector worker is not all of the middle class. It is made up mostly of private sector workers who have to foot the bill for teachers not paying into their pensions, goverment employees getting more vacation, holiday and sick time than the rest of us and they get a generous pension which we, the middle class, get taxed on to finance it. Its time for it to end NOW. Way to go Walker!

  • Dennis Barker

    THIS will end uopback like the old days before Unions were around..The big corporations take all the money and just what they feel like giving to the workers. Watch the movie SCOOGE!!!!! BUT IN TH END THE unions WILL PREVAIL!!!!!!!

  • Dennis Barker


  • Dan

    Bla Bla Bla, a blow to the middle class my A@@! It’s a blow to the often overpaid and underworked union members. What about the other 80% of us that are not in the union? If everyone was in the union who is going to pay for that? We are already not competative and outsource most of our MFG. Can a service based economy really support 100% union participation? Will a UNION member pay $8 for a cup of coffee to support the $20 an hour worker behind the counter? NO! And there are plenty of vehicles with union bumper stickers in the Wal Mart lots as well. It’s all about a select group trying to hang on to their gravy train while the entire country goes broke trying to support the outrageous pensions and all the other bs that goes along with Union Yes!
    Everbody wants lower taxes and cheap gas and inexpensive groceries and all the social services etc etc etc but its apparent that the system can no longer afford to maintain it. We are about to collapse under our own weight and nobody wants to have their little piece of the pie cut. Can’t keep spending if you don’t have money to pay the rent now can you?

    • The Truth

      Great points!!!! Well said. How about bus drivers making over $100,000 grand up in Wis.?? Others being able to bill 1/2 hr. OT if they have to accept a phone call from work after hours!! Indeed, they must be middle class!! Amazing how people still support these pampered people!!!!

      • Jim's mom's boss

        Typical of you union thugs to wish ill will on others. You’re FIRED!!!

    • jim's Mother

      We are not going broke! That is a god damn lie! and if you believe it your an idiot like Jim. You have little knowledge of how this all works it seems and you will believe what ever you are told and if you cant open your eyes up and look at all of the little things that are happening all of the country then u are blind. This is called STARVING THE BEAST. You cook up financial crisis and strip the people of there basic needs (I.E. Planned parent hood/NPR/Funding to Poison control centers) Things we need to stay civil. I feel terrible for all of you who support whats going on in this country.

      • Jim

        What union do you belong to?

      • The Truth

        You mentioning NPR & planned parenthood is PROOF that you are a fool and have NO CREDIBILTY !!!! I resent morons like you who want to keep contributing to the demise of this once great country!!! Keep supporting your socialist messiah and greedy union-backed democrats and then let’s talk in 5 yrs. when it all has collasped and your crying for a hand out!!!

  • D.O

    Heaven forbid that a public sector worker actually has to contribute to their benefits, or that they actually have to be efficient workers and can be laid off for doing a poor job, rather than hide behind seniority. Seniority is one of the largest causes of inefficiency in public union jobs.

    Wake up and smell the coffee. Public worker pensions and benefits need to be scaled back or every state, as well as the federal government will run out of money, putting our securities in junk status due to all the debt we’ve racked up.

    If you don’t know what my above paragraph means, please go take a basic macro economics course at your local community college.

  • Bill

    Hey Jim’s Mother
    I think you believe too much of the BS they are brainwashing you with at the union meetings!

    Why shouldn’t a teacher get paid based on performance?

    Why should certain union contractors get paid for a minimum of 8 hours when they may only have a 2 hour job in the morning? Does that make them competative?

    I work for a company full of union employees and they all act like they are doing the company a huge favor by showing up. There is no “can do” attitude around here. They know how to milk time and the system and that is not why the unions were started in the 1st place. Oh here is another good one, the union hired connected hacks to manage the pension fund and they drove it into the ground due to blatantly bad investments and its well below the threshold. Guess what they are doing to fix it? They expect the companies that already contributed the original funds to the pension to make up the shortfall. So know the hacks that mismanaged things want the companies to pay twice.
    Jim if that is not union BS then what is it?

    • The Truth

      BRAVO Bill!!!! Great points acroos the board!

    • jim's Mother

      Well thats a simple question, so your telling me a teacher can go hell if they cant teach over crowded class rooms well enough, but a banker can f us all and still get a million dollar bonus? Yeah you Big business approach is so progressive boy it all makes sense now thanks, Now i am republican!!! Wow i hope you catch every type of cancer there is in the world and i hate unions, but i see there place and i know they are the only opposition against the right. and thats why they are being attacked. God save our souls

  • http://cao2.wordpress.com/2011/03/10/diersens-news-clips-and-upcoming-events-march-10-2011/ Diersen’s News Clips and Upcoming Events; March 10, 2011 « Cao2's Weblog

    […] Wisconsin Dems Furious Over Vote In Their Absence […]

  • jaycee

    What are the UNIONS crying about
    Fed employee don`t have collective bargaining rights UNIONS were quiet about them

    Chicago fire and police don`t have collective bargaining rights see what the mayor did with their last contract UNIONS were quiet about them

    Most of paid protesters are from chicago

    People of WISC elect their GOV not the unions or the paid protesers sounds like they`re sore losers

    How come their all white protesters

    If dems politicans did their job instead running like scare rats to ILL WE

    WOULDN`T have this problems they know how the game is played they got beat at your own now quit crying

    • jim's Mother

      There is no game here. You dont play games with peoples lives! your all paid trolls each and everyone of u.

  • jim's Mother

    paid protesters? are those like the planted trouble makers your governor thought about planting in the crowds? I think you believe what ever you are told with out actually finding the truth. Same on you for being Ignorant to others. Go find a soul!

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  • http://wi.killthebill.us/2011/03/13/wisconsin-republicans-strip-collective-bargaining-rights-from-public-workers-without-dems/ Wisconsin Republicans strip collective bargaining rights from public workers without Dems

    […] Wisconsin Dems Furious Over Vote In Their Absence The proposal to strip collective bargaining rights from state employees may have passed the Wisconsin senate, but the battle is far from over. Read more on CBS Chicago […]

  • http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/03/15/wisconsin-dems-who-hid-out-in-illinois-cant-vote/ Wisconsin Dems Who Hid Out In Illinois Can’t Vote « CBS Chicago

    […] The Senate requires a quorum to take up any measures on spending money. So the Republicans took all … […]

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