PEOPLE-Local 645

  • Quality of Life Alliance

Legislative Update 12/16/10

Posted by Chris Liebenthal on December 23, 2010

Wisconsin Legislature Fails to Adopt State Employee Contracts:  Passage in One House is not Enough


On Wednesday, December 15, both houses of the outgoing 2009-2010 state Legislature met in an extraordinary session to take up 16 state employee contracts.  While the state Assembly voted to approve the contracts on a narrow vote of 48-47, later that night the state Senate deadlocked 16-16, ending hopes for legislative approval this year.


It takes a majority vote in both houses of the Legislature for a bill to become law.


How the Assembly Voted:


The 48 “yes” votes were cast by most Democrats and Independent legislator Jeff Wood.  The 47 “no” votes were cast by every Assembly Republican and Democratic state Representative Peggy Krusick of Milwaukee.  A total of 95 votes were cast.


Although there are 99 state Assembly seats, one of the four who didn’t vote was state Rep. Mark Radcliffe (D-Black River Falls), who failed to show up for the vote.  The other three who did not cast votes are three legislators who have resigned to take other jobs.  Those individuals are Gary Sherman (D-Port Wing), Pedro Colon (D-Milwaukee) and Mark Gundrum (R-New Berlin).


Our thanks goes to current Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan (D-Janesville) and incoming Democratic Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) who did an outstanding job rallying fellow lawmakers in the Assembly to pass the bill.  Many other Democratic members stepped up to the plate Wednesday to get the job done. State Rep. Marlin Schneider gave an outstanding speech in support of public employees.  His speech can be heard on Wisconsin Eye at State Rep. Joe Parisi started the debate by introducing three Council 24 members, recognizing their service and sacrifice.


How the Senate Voted:


All Senate Republicans present voted against our contracts.  They were joined by defeated lawmakers Russ Decker (D-Weston) and Jeff Plale (D-Milwaukee) in casting “no” votes.  Sixteen Democrats present voted “yes” on our contracts. The 16-16 vote meant failure to pass the contracts.


Democrats had elected Mark Miller as leader for the 2011-2012 legislative session.  Sen. Miller and all other Senate Democrats worked very hard to get the votes but came up short because all Republicans, Plale and Decker failed to support contracts that most  had supported in the past.  Decker betrayed his caucus as well as the thousands of public employees who were counting on legislators to approve the long-overdue contracts.


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