The Republican leader of the Wisconsin state Senate is calling for debate on a right-to-work bill to take place as lawmakers in Madison consider the state budget plan Governor Scott Walker will release next week. Senator Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau), who had indicated as recently as last week that the earliest the bill would come up in the Senate would be after the April election to fill a vacant seat, said in a release on Thursday that the debate should happen sooner.
“As we enter into a budget process that we know will present some difficult financial challenges, we have an obligation to the taxpayers to make every effort to ensure that Wisconsin remains an attractive site for business and to foster economic growth. With broad support throughout the state, it would be a missed opportunity to leave the workplace freedom debate out of that equation.”
Communications Director Myranda Tanck said Fitzgerald anticipated that the right-to-work debate in the Senate would be “somewhat simultaneous” with the consideration of Walker’s budget, and that a bill could be ready once the vacant seat in the 20th District is filled.
Fitzgerald cited the results of a survey on the issue which was released Thursday by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. The findings of a poll conducted by The Tarrance Group claimed that 69 percent of Wisconsin voters – and 51 percent of union households – support right to work legislation.
Governor Scott Walker has continued to maintain that in his view, right-to-work legislation would only serve to distract lawmakers from what he’s identified as his core issues. “I’ve never said I was against it. When I was a legislator I was a co-sponsor. I’ve said it’s a distraction because I ran on a series of things,” Walker said Wednesday. “That’s my focal point. I didn’t want the legislature distracted from that.”