Thousands of Wisconsin state workers were bracing for layoff notices Friday as Republican Gov. Scott Walker and absent Democrats remained in a standoff over a budget balancing bill that would also strip public workers of their collective bargaining rights.
Walker said he would issue 1,500 layoff notices Friday if at least one of the 14 Senate Democrats doesn't return from Illinois to give the Republican majority the quorum it needs to vote. Senate Republicans voted Thursday to hold the missing Democrats in contempt and force police to bring them back to the Capitol.Return or workers will be axed, Wis. Dems told - Politics - More politics - msnbc.comWalker says the bill is needed to ease a deficit that is projected to hit $137 million by July and $3.6 billion by mid-2013. His proposal comes up with the money for this year in part by forcing state employees to pay for half the cost of their pensions and twice their current health care premiums concessions equivalent to an 8 percent pay cut.
With the labor bill stalled, Walker said he has to issue layoff notices starting Friday so the state can start to realize the $30 million savings he had assumed would come from the concessions. The layoffs wouldn't be effective for 31 days, and Walker said he could rescind them if the bill passed in the meantime.
No good choices here for the unions or the politicians who work for them.