Wisconsin’s embattled Republican governor asked for civility during a televised “fireside chat” last night, arguing that his emergency budget repair bill is about the state’s finances, not union rights, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports. Governor Scott Walker laid out his proposal, which would require state employees to make higher pension and healthcare contributions and strip public-sector unions of nearly all of their collective bargaining rights.
Walker also warned that thousands of state workers could be laid off if Wisconsin’s missing Senate Democrats don’t return to the state for a vote on the budget repair bill. The 14 Democrats have been hiding out in Illinois since last Thursday to prevent a quorum for the vote.
As round-the-clock, peaceful protests against the bill enter their eighth day, neither side shows any side of relenting. The budget legislation must be passed by the end of this week in order to ensure a $165 million bond restructuring included in the bill.
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