FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 24, 2015
Statement from Senator Larson on GOP Committee Action on RTW
Republicans once again shut down debate and silence the voices of the people
MADISON – The following is a statement from Senator Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) on today’s committee action that shut down debate, silencing the voices of Wisconsin workers and small business owners, in an effort to force through a vote on controversial, highly-partisan legislation that attacks Wisconsin’s working families.
“Unfortunately we have seen bad ideas like this come out of the Republican playbook before. Instead of a fair process that lets experts and the public testify so that we, as Senators, can make informed decisions, Republicans shut down debate, silenced the voices of those who waited for hours to be heard, and forced a vote on a bill that creates less freedom for workers and hurts us all.
“Today we saw most, if not all, of the speakers in favor of this dangerous bill have received money from the right-wing Bradley Foundation. What is even more interesting is who did NOT come out in favor of the bill today: there were no local chambers of commerce, no individual businesses, and no union workers.
“The facts are in, and it was made clear today that RTW laws reduce worker wages, diminish worker health and safety, and, at the same time, increase poverty and workplace fatalities. The reality is that eight of the 12 states with the highest unemployment rates are RTW states, and by WMC’s own admission, less than 7% of their members came out in favor of this regressive legislation. Wisconsin businesses recognize how dangerous this bill is. Today we actually heard from a coalition of more than 400 local businesses, who know firsthand the value of working with private labor groups, who oppose this law. We also had a woman drive 5 hours from Hayward Wisconsin to have her voice heard. We had a pro-union business owner fly in from Florida to testify. We had a gentlemen wait nine hours, who was willing to be late for his 2nd shift job just to be able to heard.
“Yet once again, Republicans have decided to fast-track legislation, and put the priorities of Koch brothers, regressive think tanks, and corporate special interests before the people of Wisconsin, whom they are supposed to represent.
“Tomorrow is the Senate’s last chance to defeat this dangerous bill. Once again, I'm calling on any remaining moderate Republicans in the Senate to show some backbone and stand up for their neighbors and not cave to threats by special interest groups.
“This legislation puts Wisconsin in the race to the bottom. It is simply wrong for Wisconsin and we can do better.”