Emotions Run High in Madison Wisconsin as Collective Bargaining Bill is Passed Without a Quorum

Real Estate Agent with The Stark Company Realtors, Madison WI 53123-94

Breaking News: In Wisconsin, GOP maneuver pushes anti-union bill forward

Senate Republicans omit financial provisions from legislation to curb public workers' collective bargaining rights, skirting a requirement that a quorum be present.

A video from WISC TV as shown on their Channel3000.com website.  Protestors are chanting a call and response:  Tell me what Democracy Looks like: THIS is What Democracy Looks Like.


This is beyond Madison Wisconsin-there is much national and international Coverage of the protests in Madison Wisconsin. This Following Los Angeles Times Article follows (abby.sewell@latimes.com Copyright © 2011, Los Angeles Times)

Senate Republicans in Wisconsin used a surprise legislative maneuver to advance a bill that would strip collective bargaining rights from most public sector workers, a move accomplished without the presence of 14 Democratic senators who fled the state to stall the measure.

Republicans voted 18 to 1 Wednesday night to pass the non-fiscal provisions of Gov.
Scott Walker's budget repair bill, including those that would eliminate or severely limit collective bargaining rights for most public employees.

By omitting the financial provisions from the bill, Republicans were able to bypass a requirement that a quorum be present to vote on fiscal legislation. When all 14 Democratic state senators fled to Illinois on Feb. 17, they denied the GOP majority a quorum and thereby stymied action on the initiative.

The fight over the legislation in Madison, the state capital, has drawn national attention, with unions calling it an attack on all organized labor and some Republican lawmakers and governors calling it a necessary step to control state spending.

The amended bill will go back to the Republican-controlled state Assembly for a vote Thursday. The Assembly had already passed the bill prior to the changes.

Senate Republicans assembled a conference committee Wednesday, held jointly with Assembly members, to address the changes in the bill, and then quickly moved on to a vote of the full Senate. With no Democrats present, Republican Sen.
Dale Schultz cast the only dissenting vote.

In a statement, Schultz said he had spent the last four weeks working for compromise.

"Ultimately, I voted my conscience, which I feel reflects the core beliefs of the majority of voters who sent me here to represent them," he said.

Rep. Donna Seidel, assistant minority leader in the Assembly, said the move caught Democrats "totally and completely off-guard."

"In 30 minutes, the 18 Republican senators stripped away 50 years of worker rights," she said.

The measure is almost guaranteed to pass in the Assembly, but Democrats were not ready to give up the fight, and Seidel said they intended to take the fight to the courts.

Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca decried the hastily convened conference session as a violation of the state's open meetings law, which generally requires 24 hours' notice, and a minimum of two hours' notice, for meetings.

A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader
Scott Fitzgerald did not respond to a request for comment.

At the brief and contentious joint conference session, where Barca was the only Democrat present, he told Fitzgerald, "Mr. Chairman, this is a violation of law! This is not just a rule - this is the law."

Walker issued a statement praising the Republicans' action.

"The Senate Democrats have had three weeks to debate this bill and were offered repeated opportunities to come home, which they refused," the governor said.

Walker has said the scaling back of public sector union power is a necessary tool to help local governments and schools deal with impending budget cuts intended to plug a $3.6-billion deficit over the next two years. In his initial budget presentation last week, Walker laid out more than $1 billion in proposed cuts in state aid to schools, universities, municipalities and counties.

The bill that passed the Senate on Wednesday retains provisions that would eliminate collective bargaining rights for some workers, including small-scale child care providers and University of Wisconsin hospital and clinic employees. For other non-public safety employees, it would allow bargaining only on wages.

Meanwhile, a quickly growing crowd of protesters assembled outside the state Capitol, pounding on the door and shouting, "Democracy is knocking on the door!"

abby.sewell@latimes.com Copyright © 2011, Los Angeles Times



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Comments (11)

Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

I'm wondering why they did not realize earlier that by stripping the provision * which did not require a quorm vote * they could save the hundreds of thousands of non-productive taxpayer dollars being spent on cleanup and damage to the WI capitol.

MEANWHILE * on the NASCAR front * John Menard is the WORLDS #196 on the Forbes Billionaire list.

Mar 09, 2011 11:00 PM
Barbara Chatterton
The Stark Company Realtors, Madison WI - Madison, WI
Greater Madison Wisconsin Area Realtor
The Protests have been very peaceful as 10's of thousands of protestors have marched and held rallys on the Capitol grounds. Filmmaker Michael Moore visited last weekend and you can find his speech on his website or here on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgNuSEZ8CDw.
Mar 09, 2011 11:07 PM
Charita Cadenhead
eXp Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

As a native Detroiter, I can relate to unionization and the impact that it has on workers.  And having witnessed the strength of unions, I can see how it was the detriment of a city like Detroit.  I can see that you are very passionate about this Barbara and I applaud you for taking an active part in what you staunchly believe in.

Mar 09, 2011 11:17 PM
Karen Hurst
Rhode Island Waterfront!


from Wikipedia.  "Democracy is a form of political organization in which all people, through consensus (consensus democracy), direct referendum (direct democracy), or elected representatives (representative democracy) exercise equal control over the matters which affect their interests"

Key words..."excersise EQUAL control over the matters which affect their interests"

The words Socialist Republic come to mind

Mar 09, 2011 11:24 PM
Barbara Chatterton
The Stark Company Realtors, Madison WI - Madison, WI
Greater Madison Wisconsin Area Realtor
Thank you very much, Charita. I cannot blog about other issues in my area without including this huge story. I purposley selected an article written in the Los Angeles Times, and not a local one. The video is, obviouslly local, however, it has been since reported that no windows have been broken. I am not going to reply to every comment and will let any opinion be expressed as long as it is thoughtfully written.
Mar 09, 2011 11:27 PM
Karen Hurst
Rhode Island Waterfront!
Barbara, Just to clarify my comment above. I was NOT commenting on Unions but rather on Democracy of the United States. I have seen many a time where Politicians have given state unions whatever they ask for, to the detriment of the public, and I firmly believe in transparency on all issues. Which is why I am not in favor of the way this vote was cast! Behind closed doors only inviting favorable people to the party. And I am not trying to agree or disagree, just feel like I need to state my opinion:) I understand completely if you prefer not to comment on my comments:)
Mar 09, 2011 11:54 PM
Barbara Chatterton
The Stark Company Realtors, Madison WI - Madison, WI
Greater Madison Wisconsin Area Realtor
I do agree that sneaking legislation through without a balanced process is not the way this state or country has been formed. This was the 2nd feaatured story on the Today Show this morning. Thank you Karen. Thank you Charita.
Mar 10, 2011 12:06 AM
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Barbara, as you know, my hubby is a History teacher and has been at the protests (OUTSIDE OF WORK TIME),and will be there again on Saturday...just isn't right...great job on keeping the word out!

Mar 10, 2011 12:30 AM
Barbara Chatterton
The Stark Company Realtors, Madison WI - Madison, WI
Greater Madison Wisconsin Area Realtor
Thank you so much, Kristin. It is impossible not to follow the hour by hour happeningshere, isn't it?
Mar 10, 2011 12:42 AM
Eric Kodner
Wayzata Lakes Realty: Eric Kodner Sells Twin Cities Homes - Minnetonka, MN
Wayzata Lakes Realty: Twin Cities, Madeline Island

Wallace, do you have any proof that "hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage" was done to Madison by protesters? That sounds a bit like Palinesque, absurdly gross exaggeration. What about the $140 Million in discretionary spending to benefit special interest groups that Walker pushed through in January? Who will repay and restore that money?

Meanwhile, on the NASCAR front, Minnesota Congresswoman Betty McCollum recently received racist hate mail containing death threats for proposing that Congress look into $7 Million being wasted on sponsoring NASCAR events as an "army recruiting tool". Gee, if folks are outraged about what they perceive as "overspending" by government, why not look at some real numbers?

Viewing a NASCAR race is about as exciting as watching Astroturf grow.

Mar 10, 2011 03:33 AM
Barbara Chatterton
The Stark Company Realtors, Madison WI - Madison, WI
Greater Madison Wisconsin Area Realtor
OK, Eric-I appreciate your thoughts-devilish as they may be. I am going to disable further comments on this post and just have this stand as an informational post. I do not want a debate on the comments here. Thanks
Mar 10, 2011 04:27 AM

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