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Protestors in Madison Upset With Budget Repair Bill

Affects of budget repair bill on local school district unknown, Waukesha School Board president says.

With thousands protesting over the proposed legislation that would eliminate benefits from collective bargaining from public employee unions, Waukesha School Board President Dan Warren said it is too soon to tell what affects the budget repair bill would have on the school district.

“We really need to reserve any comment until we see what the Legislature does with the governor’s proposed legislation,” Warren said. “I think in fairness to everyone we need to see what actually becomes law.”

After the Legislature passes the law, Warren said, then the school district would be able to measure how the law affects the school district.

The school district currently is heading to arbitration with its union members over a contract dispute.

Some will be taking part in the regional demonstrations against Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill. If you or someone you know is taking part in the protest, please let Waukesha Patch know by e-mailing Sarah.Millard@patch.com.

Under the proposed state legislation, collective bargaining would be limited to wages, which can’t increase consumer price index-based cap, according to a news release from Walker. The cap could be exceeded by referendum.

The union contracts would be limited to a year, the news release states, and wages frozen until new contract is settled.

Law enforcement, fire department personnel and state troopers and inspectors are not affected by the proposed legislation, according to the news release.

Other issues that are in the bill include requiring state employees to contribute 5.8 percent toward their pension and 12 percent toward their health care benefits, according to Walker’s release. That move would save the state $30 million as it looks to plug a $137 million budget deficit by the end of June, according to the news release.

“We must take immediate action to ensure fiscal stability in our state,” Walker said in the release. “This budget repair bill will meet the immediate needs of our state and give government the tools to deal with this and future budget crises.”

Locally, State Rep. Bill Kramer, R-Waukesha, applauded Walker’s proposed budget repair bill. It is the fifth time since 2000 that the “budget had to be repaired because of overspending,” a news release states.

“So it is, that once again, we must address budget shortfalls and reorganize the state budget because of a failure to maturely prioritize our state’s spending commitments,” Kramer said in the release.

Kramer said in the release that he looks forward to working with Walker on the budget and government reform.

“For the first time in my tenure, I am optimistic that we can finally restore fiscal sustainability and certitude and move Wisconsin forward,” Kramer said in the release.

Keith Best February 16, 2011 at 09:09 PM
This budget repair bill has( 0 ) effect on students. Public employees are going to be responsible to pay out of their pockets 12% for pension and 5% for healthcare. This is not anything the private sector has not had to deal with already. I pay 14% and 7% now. Unions have been beholden to former Governor Doyle. There is a new sherriff in town and his name is ...........Walker. We elected him to fix this state and keep it from bankruptcy. This is just a small step. I went to Madison on Tuesday. Most of the students who participated in the protest had no idea why they were there, only that they could skip school because the teachers said they could.
C February 17, 2011 at 07:43 AM
Mr. Keith Best, you tried to intimidate me on Tuesday with your big physique in Madison, you are a big bully, and a rightful jerk off. Just listen to yourself. The students know what they are doing, they know how people like you work. Your part of the hospitality industry huh? You and walker, are obviously pals!, did he promise you a crony job too?!? I bet he did, we will see, huh?
Keith Best February 17, 2011 at 01:38 PM
I find this a typical response. Insults instead of facts. Afraid to identify yourself hiding behind an anonymous nomiker. Consider this. Public workers can face these changes NOW that bring them more in line with the private sector, or they can face layoffs LATER. And I am happy with the job I have even though I can't bargain for MY benefits.
Jason Patzfahl February 18, 2011 at 06:02 PM
"The labor movement is people. Our unions have brought millions of men and women together, made them members one of another, and given them common tools for common goals. Their goals are goals for all America - and their enemies are the enemies for progress. The two cannot be separated." ~ John F Kennedy

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