- Sen. Tom Coburn vows to slow down budget-busting bills ahead of recess
- Obama fantasizes about more executive power, signs new order on federal contractors
- Clintons call Klein, Halper, Kessler ‘a Hat Trick of despicable actors’: report
- Boehner accuses Obama of ‘legacy of lawlessness’
- Pro-marijuana group claims responsibility for Brooklyn Bridge flag swap
- Young adults shun Obamacare mostly due to cost: survey
- Stabbing attack on transgender girl, 15, was ‘bias motivated,’ police say
- LGBT adults still lean overwhelmingly toward Democratic Party
- Lawmakers rattled by Syria genocide horrors, call on Obama to act
- 3 African leaders cancel trip to U.S. over Ebola outbreak; Obama still plans summit
3 GOP senators needed for compromise in Wis.
Question of the Day
The plan also would require many public employees to cut their take-home pay by about 8 percent by contributing more of their salaries toward their health insurance and retirement benefits. Union leaders said their members are willing to accept those concessions, but they will not give up their right to collectively bargain.
Wisconsin was the first state to enact a comprehensive collective bargaining law in 1959. It’s also the birthplace of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the national union representing all nonfederal public employees, which was founded in 1936 in Madison.
Mr. Walker said the concessions would help close a projected $3.6 billion budget deficit through June 30, 2013, and the changes to weaken unions would pave the way for local and state governments to operate more efficiently for years to come.
A key part of Mr. Walker’s plan to balance the $137 million budget shortfall this year calls for restructuring state debt to save $165 million.
But a Feb. 22 memo from Mr. Walker’s Department of Administration secretary warned that the bill must pass by Friday to allow time to refinance state bonds in order to save the money.
Mr. Walker said Monday that not doing that restructuring could force 1,500 layoffs or more aggressive spending cuts.
The Republican-controlled Assembly is expected to meet Tuesday to consider the plan. The Senate planned to meet on Tuesday, even though Senate Democrats have skipped town, to approve a resolution commending the Green Bay Packers on winning the Super Bowl and extending tax breaks for dairy farmers.
While Republicans are one vote short of the quorum needed to take up the budget-repair bill, they need only a simple majority of the Senate’s 33 members to take up other measures.
Mr. Erpenbach, speaking from Chicago, said he feared Republicans may try to pass the collective bargaining restrictions as an amendment to an unrelated bill. However, Mr. Fitzgerald said Monday afternoon he will not attempt to pass any portions of the bill without Democrats present.
Associated Press writer Scott Bauer in Madison and Dinesh Ramde in Milwaukee contributed to this report.
TWT Video Picks
By Ted Cruz
Israel saves its enemies; Hamas endangers its friends
- Inside the Ring: Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- GOP leaders delay border bill, leave Obama in control
- Army's 3-D printed bombs to create 'a whole new universe' of lethal capabilities
- CIA admits improperly hacking Senate computers in search of Bush-era information
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Report: 40% of weapons sent to Afghanistan are unaccounted for
- U.S. troops told not to eat, drink in front of Muslims during Ramadan
- Catholic League slams Obama: 'Do Christian lives mean so little to you?'
- Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world