State Budget Battles

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - 11:19am

Budget battles continue in Wisconsin as as the standoff with unions spreads to other states.

Protests continue in the halls of the Wisconsin state capitol as the budget battle between the governor and public worker unions now enters a second week and spreads to nearby states. For more than a week, it's been demonstrations not legislation inside the Wisconsin state capital.

Thousands of public employee union workers continue to protest Republican Governor Scott Walker's plan to balance the budget by calling on unions to pay more towards their pensions, their health care and give-up their collective bargaining power for everything but wages.

If they don't.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker says "at the state level for the next budget would be five to six thousand state government employees being laid off and five to six thousand local government employees."

14 state-senate Democrats have fled the state to deny a quorum for Republicans to pass Walker's bill but it will only take one to cross party lines for the vote to be held.

State Sen. Tim Cullen says "I will not be the 20th vote, I assure you of that."

Walker wants them back now.

Gov. Walker says "the time is up, it's time for them to come back and participate in democracy."

Democracy union workers say is being denied and it's a feeling that is spreading.

On Monday, similar union protests were held in state houses across the country including Oklahoma, West Virginia and in Indiana where union leaders say they will hold a week of protests against similar budget cut efforts. But it's back in Madison where the first line in the sand in this budget battle has been drawn.

Wisconsin State Senate Republicans say they will return to work tomorrow without their Democratic counterparts to set a time-line for the vote of the controversial bill.

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