Walker Rushes to Sign Union-Busting Bill Today, Lies About 'Budget'

This is rich -- the JS Online:

Madison- Gov. Scott Walker on Friday plans to sign the bill that repeals most collective bargaining by public employee unions.

Walker also is planning a press conference to talk about the tumultuous past few weeks. On Friday morning, Walker directed two state agencies to rescind layoff notices because the Legislature had passed the bill.

Walker sent his directive to the state Department of Administration and the office of State Employment Relations.

In his directive, Walker issued a statement:

"The Legislature helped us save 1,500 middle-class jobs by moving forward this week with the budget repair. The state will now be able to realize $30 million in savings to balance the budget and allow 1,500 state employees to keep their jobs. The reforms contained in this legislation, which require modest health care and pension contributions from all public employees, will help put Wisconsin on a path to fiscal sustainability.

Cough. But the bill in question that Walker is about to sign has nothing to do with the budget, and everything to do with rolling back collective bargaining rights that public employee unions have, it has been noted, enjoyed for the past 50 years without incident. Again, this guy would like Wisconsin to go back in time... to 1971.

Furthermore... his statement sounds like he was dangling the layoff notices in front of state workers as some kind of ultimatum -- either we pass the bill that harms you, or we take away your jobs. More:

"While tough budget choices certainly still lie ahead, both state and local units of government will not have to do any mass layoffs or direct service reductions because of the reforms contained in the budget repair bill. Moving forward the hard-working, professional public sector employees who show up to work every day and do an excellent job will help ensure Wisconsin has a business climate that allows the private sector to create 250,000 new jobs."

Clearly Walker and the Wisconsin GOP do not have respect for their constituents, as evidenced by their infuriating imperviousness to the hundreds of thousands of average Americans protesting outside the state capitol. But apparently they believe they are stupid, as well, because Walker is outright lying in this statement -- this has nothing to do with the budget. The bill passed was the rollback of collective bargaining rights, and various other far-reaching power grabs. Let us refresh your memory:

In addition to ending most collective bargaining, the wide-ranging measure would help close a budget gap in the current fiscal year, require public employees to pay more for pensions and health insurance, give Walker broad authority over health care programs for the poor, and turn 37 civil service jobs into political appointments. But unlike an earlier version, the bill passed by the Assembly wouldn't authorize the sale of state power plants or a $165 million refinancing of state debt.

In case you can't get enough of this egregious bullpocky, Walker is giving a press conference later today 'to talk about the tumultuous past few weeks.' Oh, awesome. Read the full report at the JS Online.

UPDATE: Walker signed the bill privately this morning.

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at March 11, 2011, 5:15am