Governor Scott Walker closed state offices to the public Wednesday in Wisconsin counties affected by the blizzard – but state workers were expected to take a vacation day if they didn’t show up. “What I’m scratching my head about is this,” said state Senator Jon Erpenbach. “With Governor Walker closing state buildings to the public, he’s requiring that state employees show up to work.” The Middleton Democrat, who had a adventure getting to the Capitol for Wednesday’s floor session, said a lot of state employees risked their lives, and hoped Walker would use better judgment the next time a similar situation arises.
“The offices were not safe to go to for the public, but they were safe to go to for the workers there,” said Scott Spector, government relations representative for AFT Wisconsin. “That is a clearly a bad message to send to state workers, to try and brave the elements, put themselves and others at risk by traveling to work today.” So how many state workers did show up? “Pretty sparse” was what Spector said he’d heard in terms of attendance. “So a lot workers heeded the advice of public safety officials and stayed home today. But now they’re going to have to be penalized by taking time off in order to stay home.”