WI Senate GOP 1, Fleebaggers 0
Well, the WI Senate Republicans did what they could without the help of the Fleebagging Democrats:
The Senate requires a quorum to take up any measures that spend money. But Republicans on Wednesday split from the legislation the proposal to curtail union rights, which spends no money, and a special conference committee of state lawmakers approved the bill a short time later.
The lone Democrat present on the conference committee, Rep. Tony Barca, shouted that the surprise meeting was a violation of the state’s open meetings law but Republicans voted over his objections. The Senate then convened within minutes and passed it without discussion or debate.
The Weekly Standard has details on the bill:
The legislation being voted on tonight has few changes from the bill as initially proposed. It would save just $30 million less than the original budget bill by stripping out a refinancing provision. But it would still save the state $300 million over the next two years by requiring state employees to contribute about 5% of income toward their pensions and by requiring state workers to pay for about 12% of their health insurance premiums. It would also save $1.44 billion by requiring public employees in school districts and municipalities to pay 5% of their salaries toward their pensions and by removing collective bargaining for benefits, thus giving school districts and municipalities the option of requiring their employees to pay about 12% for their health insurance premiums.
WI Senate rules require a quorum of 20 for certain fiscal bills, and the GOP only holds 19 seats. However, because this doesn’t directly involve spending or taxing, even though it does save money, the non-partisan state Legislative Fiscal Bureau said that a quorum wasn’t necessary.
Now, if the Fleebaggers hadn’t been AWOL for 3 weeks, they could have had a voice in this debate before the bill was voted on. But by leaving the state, attempting to delay or deny a vote, they also denied themselves the chance to amend the bill.
In other words, hope that bed you made is comfy, Fleebaggers.