Home > Cande = Conjecture & Exaggeration, Fande = Fact & Evidence, The Economy > After 8 years of the George W. Bush administration led to the Great Recession…Republican Governor Scott Walker gives tax cuts to businesses in Wisconsin that require concessions from labor unions to pay for those tax cuts and then some

After 8 years of the George W. Bush administration led to the Great Recession…Republican Governor Scott Walker gives tax cuts to businesses in Wisconsin that require concessions from labor unions to pay for those tax cuts and then some

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Wis-Supreme-Court-upholds-apf-4101534689.html?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=9&asset=&ccode=

EXCERPT:

“Wis. Supreme Court upholds controversial union law

Sharply divided Wisconsin Supreme Court lets polarizing union law pushed by GOP to take effect

Scott Bauer, Associated Press, On Wednesday June 15, 2011, 9:09 am EDT

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin’s polarizing union rights law will take effect thanks to a sharply divided ruling by the state Supreme Court that determined a judge overstepped her authority when she voided the governor’s plan to strip most public workers of their collective bargaining rights.

The ruling Tuesday evening was a major victory for Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who said the law was needed to help address the state’s $3.6 billion budget shortfall. His proposal — which drew tens of thousands of demonstrators to the state Capitol for weeks earlier this year — thrust Wisconsin to the forefront of a national debate over labor rights.

In a 4-3 decision that included a blistering dissent, the Supreme Court ruled that Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi overstepped when she declared the law void last month. Sumi sided with a lawsuit that claimed Republicans didn’t provide proper public notice of a meeting that helped get the original legislation approved after Democratic senators fled the state to prevent a vote.

Walker claimed that the law, which also requires public employees to pay more for their health care and pensions, would give local governments enough flexibility on labor costs to deal with deep cuts to state aid. Democrats saw it as an attack on public employee unions, which usually back their party’s candidates.

‘The Supreme Court’s ruling provides our state the opportunity to move forward together and focus on getting Wisconsin working again,’ Walker said in a one-sentence statement Tuesday.

Union leaders blasted the court’s decision. Phil Neuenfeldt, president of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO, called it “an affront to our democracy.”

An avalanche of lawsuits is expected, because legal challenges couldn’t be brought until the law took effect.

In vacating Sumi’s ruling, the Supreme Court ruled the judge had ‘usurped the legislative power which the Wisconsin Constitution grants exclusively to the legislature.’ The court also rejected arguments that Republicans violated Wisconsin’s open meetings law.

‘The doors of the Senate and Assembly were kept open to the press and members of the public … access was not denied,’ according to the majority opinion.

In a fiery dissent, Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson wrote that justices hastily reached the decision and the majority ‘set forth their own version of facts without evidence. They should not engage in this disinformation.’

Abrahamson also said a concurring opinion written by Justice David Prosser — a former Republican speaker of the Assembly — was ‘long on rhetoric and long on story-telling that appears to have a partisan slant’….

Attorneys for the Wisconsin Department of Justice, representing the Republicans who control the Legislature, had asked the Supreme Court to take the case directly, in part to speed the process.

Walker counted on the law being in effect in the budget he put forward for the fiscal year that starts July 1. Walker has said the public worker concessions would generate about $300 million in savings to the state over the next two years.”

FOR PERSPECTIVE:

https://fandecande.wordpress.com/2011/03/03/madison-wisconsin-the-epicenter-of-american-history/

Madison, Wisconsin – The Epicenter of American History

March 3, 2011
 
 

EXCERPT:

“[Wisconsin’s newly elected Republican Governor, Scott] Walker has rejected every offer of compromise.”

source: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/03/opinion/03thu1.html?hp

EXCERPT:

“Before the union uprising, Wisconsin voters might not have noticed when Mr. Walker approved business tax cuts earlier this year that made his budget gap worse. But now, with his cries of being ‘broke,’ they should listen more closely. On Tuesday, he unveiled a budget that would cut aid to school districts and local governments by nearly $1 billion over two years, while preventing those jurisdictions from raising property taxes at all to make up for the loss.

Perhaps because of the economic downturn, voting among union households was sharply down last November, which may help explain some of the Republican gains. Mr. Walker and his fellow Republicans, may wind up turning that around next year.”

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Wisconsin: How we got here

source: http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/02/18/6081693-wisconsin-how-we-got-here?ocid=twitter

EXCERPTS:

“– [Wisconsin’s new Republican Governor, Scott] Walker also pushed through three tax cut bills negatively impacting projected tax revenues by $117 million — the tax cuts went toward health savings accounts, deductions for relocated businesses, and exclusions for hiring new employees.

– The pension system in Wisconsin is actually quite healthy. In fact, it was one of only four states (FL WA, and NY are the others) that entered 2008 fully funded.

‎– On collective bargaining, it:
1) removes rights to bargain collectively for most of 175,00 state employees;
2) exempts most law enforcement, firefighters, and Wisconsin State Patrol;
3) does not allow employers to collect union dues in paychecks.

Political power in Wisconsin
– State House is Republican controlled 57-38-1
– State Senate is Republican controlled 19-14

Other nuggets
– AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) started in Madison in 1932.
– Wisconsin was the first state to give local government workers and teachers collective bargaining rights with the Public employee Collective Bargaining Act in 1959.
– State government workers got collective bargaining in 1970s.”

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