February 25, 2015
Statement from Senator Larson on GOP RTW Vote
Republicans refuse to listen to the people and businesses of Wisconsin, side with Bradley Foundation
MADISON – The following is a statement from Senator Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) on today’s passage of controversial, highly-partisan “Right to Work” legislation that attacks Wisconsin’s working families.
“Republican’s made their priorities absolutely clear today – they care more about the right-wing Koch brothers, Bradley Foundation, and corporate special interests than the people of Wisconsin, whom they are supposed to represent.
“It seems like everyone recognizes how dangerous this bill is except the Republicans. In Wisconsin, there is a coalition of more than 400 local businesses, who know firsthand the value of working with private labor groups, who oppose this law. We know that our neighbors oppose this law. Before Republican’s shut down testimony at the public hearing on the bill, we heard from a woman who drove 5 hours from Hayward Wisconsin to have her voice heard. We had a pro-union business owner fly back home 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 be heard. Unfortunately, we only heard from a handful of the 1,781 people who showed up to the Capitol to register their opinions or have their voices heard, because the debate was shut down early. Democrats and Republicans, looking to speak both in favor of and against the bill, who waited more than nine hours, were denied the ability to testify by their elected officials.
“Republicans are living in a state of denial, not Wisconsin reality. Here in the state of Wisconsin the facts are in. We know RTW laws reduce worker wages, diminish worker health and safety, and, at the same time, increase poverty and workplace fatalities. The reality is eight of the 12 states with the highest unemployment rates in the country are RTW states. Most businesses don’t rank RTW laws in their top 10 reasons to move to a state. In Wisconsin, by WMC’s own admission, less than 7% of their members said they favor this regressive legislation. In fact, only 25 people registered in favor of the bill. What is even more interesting is who did NOT come out in favor of the bill: there were no local chambers of commerce, no individual businesses, and no union workers.
“So yet once again, Republicans, in their state of denial, decided to pass this fast-tracked, regressive legislation today in the Senate. Republican’s chose to not have a backbone and stand up to the special interests. Instead they put the priorities of the Koch Brothers, WMC, and the Bradley Foundation ahead of every hardworking Wisconsinite.
“It is a sad day in Wisconsin, to say the least. This legislation puts our state in the race to the bottom. It is simply wrong for Wisconsin, and we can do better.”