It might happen today, it might not but Wisconsin Senate Republicans could potentially pass some parts of the Scott Walker’s controversial budget repair bill without the presence of Senate Democrats. With the 14 Dems out of town and a total of 20 Senators needed for a quorum call in the State Senate chamber, the 19 Republicans have been hung out to dry since yesterday morning. But there’s the possibility that Republicans could use the State Constitution to potentially pass parts of the legislation. According to the Wisconsin Reporter:
With 19 GOP senators, the Republican majority was one senator shy of the 20-senator requirement.
The Wisconsin Constitution, however, only requires that three-fifths of each chamber to be in attendance for “any law which imposes, continues or renews a tax, or creates a debt or charge, or makes, continues or renews an appropriation of public or trust money, or releases, discharges or commutes a claim or demand of the state.”
That would leave open the possibility of only 17 Senators having to be present in order to conduct business in the Capitol regarding this particular bill, but only for non-fiscal items of the bill, such as the collective bargaining part of the legislation. The fiscal portions of the bill such as the health care and pension contribution hikes would still require the 20 for the quorum. The story goes on further to say that Democrats could also argue that the collective bargaining terms could be defined as financially-related legislation as well and could use that argument to put a stop to this strategy. Stay tuned.
LEGISLATIVE FISCAL BUREAU REPORT SPUN BY SOME AS WALKER FAKING DEFICIT NUMBERS
Walker has continued to underscore the number $137 million as the amount of money the Wisconsin Government will be in the hole at the end of the fiscal biennium 2011-2013. He’s been consistent with this number a long time now, going back into his campaign. But in the light of the uproar and protests going in the State Capitol, some on the progressive left have chosen to take that number and use it against Walker by claiming that he has made up the number and that all he is trying to accomplish is to drive a political vendetta against Government workers. The Cap Times of Madison published an editorial Wednesday making the claim that Wisconsin really doesn’t have a budget deficit and that according to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, budget projections had been modified to reflect a $121 million-dollar surplus.
Fortunately, Jason Stein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel took a look into these claims and came up with the other side of the story. . . the fact that the State will owe $258 million in expenditures eating up that $121 million and leaving us $131 million in the red.
Michelle Malkin has been posting links about the uproar in Madison and in particular refers to Maciver Institute research that reports public teacher salaries in Wisconsin approach or exceed $100,000 when combined with public sector benefits. There’s no question to me that public sector workers get phenomenal benefits and most all of it is on the taxpayer’s dime, which is why Walker’s proposal for union members to pay in much like private sector workers is a no-brainer to me. Karl Rove made the point on Hannity on Thursday night that when Scott Walker was executive of Milwaukee County, he couldn’t balance the budget without firing workers because the Unions and their collective bargaining agreements kept throwing various wrenches into the works. The more I think about that point, the more sense it makes to me to throttle back on collective bargaining agreements for these Unions. How much of a hamstring are these CBAs to all countys and local governments/school boards across the state and how much curtailing the over-excessive bargaining would help reduce the spending in these areas statewide. Do these workers want to lose their jobs or keep things the way they are and consider themselves lucky considering the shaper we’re in?
Here is the link to Michelle’s blog: