Monday, February 21st, 2011
This past week brought thousands of people from across the state to Madison to demonstrate their opposition to Governor Walker’s budget repair bill. Governor Walker wasted no time in launching his attack on Wisconsin’s working people. His latest attempt with his so-called “budget repair bill” is nothing less than unprecedented and short-sighted. If he had his way, Walker’s allies in the Assembly and Senate would have passed the bill last week. Not only would Governor Walker have changed 100 years of institutional practice in only a matter of a few days, but he would have used a short-term action to hurt public workers with long-term consequences. This is not how we do things in Wisconsin and it is not the democracy our people deserve.
I want to point out the only reason this bill has not become law is because of the courageous actions from our Senate Democrats. In particular, I want to mention our own State Senator Kathleen Vinehout who has been particularly outspoken in opposition to this terrible legislation. While thousands of public workers; teachers, nurses, social workers, firefighters, police officers, service employees and many others came to Madison to use the last tool available to them, our Senate Democrats left Madison and are utilizing the only tool left to them. I should also mention they are taking this action of their own accord and paying for it on their own dime. I applaud our Senate Democrats for leaving the state to protect workers rights and block this terrible piece of legislation. As a result, there is more time for the people of Wisconsin to exercise the democratic principles we hold in high regard; freedom of speech and to assemble, the ability to debate, negotiate and promote public awareness and involvement. These public workers are people who pay taxes, provide necessary services to our communities and contribute to our local economies.
Public employees are more than willing to negotiate and make concessions. They have worked in good faith with Wisconsin taxpayers for generations and have continued to proudly serve their communities. Governor Walker’s proposal takes away our sacred democratic principles and provides unprecedented decision-making authority for one individual. This power grab is unacceptable and our people deserve better. Thanks again to our Senate Democrats for doing the right thing and what is necessary for the public to be heard before this terrible legislation could be rushed through the legislature. You are doing what is right for the people of Wisconsin. My question to you, the voters, is: do you want a voice that ensures the Governor’s budget fix has a public hearing so that your voice can be a part of the solution? Senate Democrats have ensured this is the case.
Contact Barbara Gronemus (715)-538-4130