Senate works around quorum issue, passes bill stripping rights

The news you’re seeing in the paper is, sadly, true; the Wisconsin State Senate plowed through a stripped-down bill that takes away collective bargaining rights from most public employees. In a surprise move, the nominally “non-fiscal” union-busting element was cut out and passed separately by the all-Republican Senate, which did not require a quorum. Only one Republican voted against the bill – Dale Schultz. The following is from his statement:

As someone who as spent the better part of the last four weeks working toward and hoping for a compromise, this is a difficult night.

I’ve had the honor and privilege of representing folks in Southwest and South Central Wisconsin for 28 years, and where I come from ‘compromise’ isn’t a dirty word.

I’ve received tens of thousands of emails, thousands of phone calls and letters, and spent hours meeting with thousands of citizens in my district. I’ve heard personal and heartfelt stories of friends and neighbors, and they ask for just two things.

First, be inclusive by listening and working with your colleagues on both sides of the aisle to reach a compromise which addresses our fiscal crisis. Second, public employees are willing to make sacrifices on things like wages and benefits, but we need to preserve collective bargaining as a tool which has helped keep labor peace in this state for decades.

Ultimately, I voted my conscience which I feel reflects the core beliefs of the majority of voters who sent me here to represent them.