Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Wisconsin Senate Uses "Nuclear Option," Passes Union Limitations

The Wisconsin Senate has passed the "Budget Repair Bill" using a so-called "nuclear option."  Up until now, the budget could not be voted on because all 14 Senate Democrats fled the state in order to prevent a quorum from being achieved.

Taking out budgetary points in the bill, State Republicans were able to tack the remaining points, including limiting unions, onto another bill.  Because the bill was no longer fiscal in nature, they were able to pass it without a quorum.

From CNN:
"Tonight, the Senate will be passing the items in the Budget Repair Bill that we can with the 19 members who actually do show up and do their jobs," Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, the chamber's Republican majority leader, said in a statement announcing the move. 
The Senate's 14 Democrats had fled to Illinois to prevent the chamber from attaining a quorum and passing the collective bargaining measures, which they have called an unnecessary attack on the rights of public employees. Republicans were able to move ahead by voting only on the non-financial aspects of Walker's proposed bill, which requires fewer members for a quorum. 
"The Senate Democrats have had three weeks to debate this bill and were offered repeated opportunities to come home, which they refused," Walker said in a statement on the vote. "In order to move the state forward, 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."
Can I point out that if the Democrats had stayed (you know, instead of giving the middle finger to voters who put Walker into office), that they would have been able to compromise on the bill and get some of what they wanted?

Instead, they fled the state because they didn't get their way and now they failed everyone that they were fighting for.  I guess that's what happens when you try to circumvent the law.

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