A modified budget repair bill passed in the state Senate Wednesday night moved Wisconsin a step closer to avoiding hundreds of job layoffs, Governor Scott Walker said Thursday in Wausau. “This is ultimately about reform and allowing us to move forward,” the Republican governor said during a brief news conference with reporters at the Wausau airport. “And, as we point out in the last week, it’s about protecting jobs.” Walker said he will recall layoff notices sent to 1,500 state employees after the Assembly passes the budget measure and he signs it into law. The layoffs are scheduled to start the first week of April if lawmakers fail to act.
“We give state and local governments the reforms to make government run better – to be more accountable and responsible to the public,” Walker said. State Senators acted legally to eliminate most collective bargaining rights for public employees, Walker said. He said the vote was not a trick and that his office gave 14 Democrats who are boycotting the bill in Illinois ample time to negotiate the measure. Walker’s comments came shortly before the Assembly passed the bill, which strips most public employees of the ability collectively bargain.
Matt Lehman, WSAU