MADISON, Wis. (CBS) — The elections board in Wisconsin has ordered a historic recall election against Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
Reuters reports almost 1 million of the 4.4 million voting-age residents of Wisconsin voted in favor the recall, nearly twice the 540,000 required to force an election.
The effort stemmed from anger over Walker’s aggressive moves during his first year in office that included effectively ended collective bargaining rights for nearly all public workers.
Walker’s move against Wisconsin state employees was first presented as an element of his budget.
The law 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.
Amid heated protests in Madison, Wis., the state’s 14 Senate Democrats left and hid out in Illinois, thus preventing the quorum required for the state Senate to vote on bills involving spending money.
Republicans fought back by taking all the spending measures out of the legislation, but keeping in the provision to restrict collective bargaining rights for state employees. The bill passed a short time later without the Democrats.
Unlike the recall of California Gov. Gray Davis in 2003, the vote will not be on whether to remove Walker from office, but a new race between Walker and a Democratic opponent, Reuters explained. The Democrat will be chosen in a primary.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, whom Walker narrowly defeated in the gubernatorial race two years ago, is considered a likely Democratic candidate.
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