March 10, 2011- A bill may have passed the senate, but the standoff continues in Wisconsin, where the state Capitol building in Madison was on lockdown Thursday morning — preventing the entrance of not only protesters, but also staff, members of the media, and even elected legislators. As the Wisconsin State Journal reports, the building has now opened, with people entering being screened for weapons.
WisPolitics reports that as a result of the earlier capitol closure, the Assembly has delayed its scheduled 11 a.m. CT session to vote on Gov. Scott Walker's bill rolling back public employee union rights. "Capitol Police has advised us to delay the Assembly session until the building can be properly secured," said a statement from Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald (R). "Assembly Republicans still intend to make a vote and pass the Conference Committee on Special Session AB11 today."
The Assembly is set to begin again soon. (Late Update: As of this writing, 1:35 p.m. ET, the Assembly is holding a roll call as it comes to order.)
With the Republicans' dodge to deprive public employees of collective bargaining rights, the dispute enters a critical phase
March 10, 2011- Now, that's some kind of hardball out of the Wisconsin state senate last night. After weeks during which the governor said the collective bargaining bill was needed for the sake of getting the budget on track, the Republicans passed it under a rule stipulating that it could have no budgetary implications, just so they could get around the requirement for a quorum.
Which means they were able to pass it without any Democrats – but in doing so, exposed their true motivation, which is to weaken unions.
Does the bill as passed, in fact, have no budgetary implications? That seems like a tough case to make from what I've read. The version the state senate passed Wednesday night has the following provisions:
American Constitution Society Blog: Wis. Republicans’ Action Against Public Workers Escalates Protests
March 10, 2011- Wisconsin state Republicans after discovering a way to pass a measure slashing pay and collective bargaining rights of public workers without the presence of Democratic lawmakers have hardly tamped down the ire building over Gov. Scott Walker's campaign to allegedly save the state from bankruptcy.
The governor's bill, which was passed quickly by the state Senate last night, amounts to nearly an 8 percent cut in pay for state workers, the Wisconsin State Journal reports. The newspaper's Web site features a ticker updating the protests that have escalated at the capitol. Early this morning the ticker reported that state troopers were denying reporters access to the capitol. State Senate Democrats blasted the actions of the governor and Republicans.
Sen. Bob Jauch told the newspaper the actions would escalate efforts to mount a recall of the Republican senators. "This was an act of legislative thuggery," Jauch said.