Central Wisconsin lawmakers sound off on right-to-work debate

By Alyssa Meyer, WAOW-TV (Channel 9)


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The right-to-work debate is heating up with lawmakers in central Wisconsin.


Republicans say workers should be able to make their own decisions about unions.


"It really is about worker freedom, and freedom in the workplace for employees to choose whether they want to be part of a union or not," said State Representative Bob Kulp (R-Stratford).


But democrats say it's actually hurting workers.


“Not only does it erode the middle class, it drives down the average wage for everyone in our state, regardless of union membership," said State Representative Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point).


They also say the process to make this decision is happening too quickly. 


"I question whether that's sound public policy,” said Shankland. “To rush something through without thoughtful debate, and without letting constituents voices be heard." 


But republicans say this topic isn't new to Wisconsin.


"It is something that's in our core philosophy if you will, giving people the right to choose,” said Kulp. “So it's a new thing in regards to the time frame, but as far as the debate goes it really is an old debate." 


We reached out to Governor Walker's office about right-to-work. In a statement, his press secretary says, "Governor Walker continues to focus on budget priorities to grow our economy and to streamline state government.”


The governor has said he will sign this into law.


Shankland says she will be in Madison Tuesday for the hearing. Kulp says he will be in the Capitol in a few days, as this debate continues.