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March 7, 2011 / J. Shaw

It's Over-Wisconsin Dem Senators to Return Soon

Soon the state of wisconsin can start to solve its budget debt problems. The Democratic senators who fled out of state rather than let Wi Governor Walker’s budget bill pass are returning. The Democrats claim Governor Walker has been badly hurt in the eyes of Wisconsin citizens by not compromising on his bill. Various polls show that Walker favorability ratings have taken a hit. I think that once the bill is passed and time passes Governor Walker will regain any popularity that he has lost. A year from now Walker will enjoy the popularity that got him elected in Novemebr. Voter will realize Walker wdid the job he was elected to do. That is rare in politics.  More importantly the nationwide movement to change the way unions workers are compensated has passed its first test.SHAW

Playing a game of political chicken, Democratic senators who fled Wisconsin to stymie restrictions on public-employee unions said Sunday they planned to come back from exile soon, betting that even though their return will allow the bill to pass, the curbs are so unpopular they’ll taint the state’s Republican governor and legislators.

The Republicans rejected the idea that the legislation would hurt the GOP. “If you think this is a bad bill for Republicans, why didn’t you stand up in the chamber and debate us about it three weeks ago?” said Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald. “People think it’s absolutely ridiculous that these 14 senators have not been in Wisconsin for three weeks.”

The Wisconsin standoff, which drew thousands of demonstrators to occupy the capitol in Madison for days at a time, has come to highlight efforts in other states to address budget problems in part by limiting the powers and benefits accorded public-sector unions.

Sen. Mark Miller said he and his fellow Democrats intend to let the full Senate vote on Gov. Scott Walker’s “budget-repair” bill, which includes the proposed limits on public unions’ collective-bargaining rights. The bill, which had been blocked because the missing Democrats were needed for the Senate to have enough members present to vote on it, is expected to pass the Republican-controlled chamber.

He said he thinks recent polls showing voter discontent with Mr. Walker over limits on bargaining rights have been “disastrous” for the governor and Republicans and give Democrats more leverage to seek changes in a broader two-year budget bill Mr. Walker proposed Tuesday.

Before Sunday’s developments, Mr. Walker said he wouldn’t be swayed by the polls. “If I governed by polls I’d still be in the state Assembly,” Mr. Walker said on Friday. “I won reelection twice as county executive in an area of the state that went two-thirds for President Obama by identifying a problem, telling people how I was going to deal with it, and then moving forward with the solution.”

Chris Schrimpf, a spokesman for the governor, said Sunday that Mr. Walker “looks forward to the Senate Democrats returning as soon as possible.”

Mr. Fitzgerald, the majority leader, said Sunday that the “budget repair” bill can’t be amended at this point. But it’s possible that over the next few weeks adjustments could be made to Mr. Walker’s broader budget plan, he said. “This bill will pass. The collective-bargaining piece has to pass. If it doesn’t the governor’s budget doesn’t work,” he said.

MORE…..http://online.wsj.com/

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