February 16, 2011
Sen. Larson Condemns Walker’s Efforts to Destroy Workers' Rights
Madison – The Budget Adjustment Bill passed the Joint Finance Committee today while hundreds of citizens waited to testify and thousands of protestors expressed their anger about the bill.
Sen. Chris Larson (D- Milwaukee) expressed his overwhelming opposition to Governor Walker’s Budget Adjustment Bill, which will harm workers and communities across Wisconsin.
“The ability to organize and receive fair treatment are qualities that built our country and must be protected,” said Larson. “The rights this bill takes away are what the previous generations fought for in the 60s and 70s to ensure a better life for their children.”
The Budget Adjustment Bill will eliminate the ability of teachers, public defenders and other workers to negotiate anything other than wages. Sen. Larson believes this bill will have a negative impact in all of Wisconsin’s communities.
“With this legislation, Governor Walker has launched an unprecedented attack on Wisconsin workers, their families and our tradition of working with labor to move Wisconsin forward,” said Larson.
Sen. Larson also condemned Gov. Walker for his role in adding to Wisconsin’s budget deficit.
“Walker has done all he can to manufacture a crisis through his own costly giveaways in the Special Interest Session these last six weeks,” said Larson. “To further this special interest agenda, Walker is also seeking to scapegoat workers as the cause of the fiscal crisis in an effort to divide the middle class against itself.”
The Joint Committee on Finance held a public hearing on the Budget Adjustment Bill yesterday that began at 11:30 a.m. and was abruptly adjourned by Republicans at 3 a.m. today, before all individuals registered to testify were allowed to do so. Sen. Larson joined his Democratic colleagues who continued to hear testimony by convening a listening session at 4 a.m. and ran most of Wednesday. Minor changes were made to the bill before it was passed by the committee. Unfortunately these adaptations completely ignored the main concerns raised in the hearing, namely concerns about taking away the right of Wisconsin workers to discuss their concerns with their government.
Sen. Larson encouraged all of his neighbors to speak out against this assault on worker rights that will hurt every person and every community across Wisconsin by driving down wages and decreasing work place safety for all Wisconsin workers, union and non-union alike.
“Until now, the rubber-stamp Republicans have been doing everything they can to railroad the governor's radical agenda through the Legislature,” said Larson. “For Wisconsin’s future, I hope that the Republican majority pauses to listen to residents from across the state wanting their voices to be heard.”