De Pere Republican André Jacque chairs the Assembly Labor Committee, which is taking public comments on the controversial bill (AB-61) all day Monday. Many people weren’t able to testify at a Senate hearing last week when it abruptly ended after eight hours, causing outbursts in the statehouse. Jacque has some concerns about similar disruptions in his committee. “There’s no place for that in legislative debate. I think, unfortunately, it reflects poorly on the vast majority of people who come to the legislature to interact with their legislators.”
Jacque says he has had conversations with many constituents who had questions about what right-to-work does and doesn’t involve. “Any time you’re changing the status quo people have a fear of the unknown and they’re trying to find answers to those questions. I’ve done my best to respond to those questions and sometimes that has significantly removed people’s aprehension about the bill.”
Under the legislation, employers can’t require workers to pay union dues as a condition of employment. Jacque has set a seven-minute time limit for testimony lasting until 8pm, but he’ll give people “every opportunity,” he says, to present their point of view, saying he has “no problem with marathon hearings.” Opponents of the bill are concerned about wages and worker training.
The Senate approved the bill (17-15) last Wednesday. After the committee hearing, the full Assembly could take up the measure later this week. Minority leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) expects a fiery debate in his chamber.
The hearing on Monday starts at 10:00 AM in 417 North (GAR Hall). Supporters can register at: WisconsinWorkerFreedom.com