Update: Wisconsin Senate Republicans have commitment issues

Earlier today I discussed how Wisconsin Senate Republicans could not credibly commit to compromising on the collective bargaining portion of Governor Walker's budget repair bill. To recap, the Republicans were trying to reduce the collective bargaining rights of public employees and Senate Democrats left the state of Wisconsin to prevent them from moving forward on the bill. In response to the public outcry against the bill, some Republicans signaled that they were willing to make some compromises on the issue. Nevertheless, they were unable to credibly commit to a compromise as there was nothing preventing them from passing the bill as soon as the Senate Democrats returned to Wisconsin. Two hours ago the Republicans displayed that any promise to compromise would have been disingenuous, as they found a way to pass the collective bargaining portion of the bill without the Democrats being present. By deeming that portion of the bill as a non-financial component, they did not need to meet a three-fifths quorum to vote on the bill. The bill passed the Senate with an 18-1 vote, with 1 Republican voting against the bill.

On a side note, it is odd that the Republicans deemed the collective bargaining portion of the bill as a non-financial component. According to Republicans, the intent of that portion of the bill was to help the state of Wisconsin meet a financial goal- to reduce the state's debt by restricting what public employee unions could bargain over with state and local governments. It will be interesting to see if Democrats will soon challenge the passage of this bill.

About Julie VanDusky-Allen

Julie VanDusky-Allen is at Boise State University and received her PhD in Political Science from Binghamton University in 2011. Her research focuses on institutional choice and development, political parties, the legislative process, and Latin American politics.

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