Walker says right-to-work bill would be too distractingGovernor Scott Walker says right-to-work legislation would be too distracting for the legislature next session, but says there are forces pushing for it in Madison.
By: By Rich Kremer, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Governor Scott Walker says right-to-work legislation would be too distracting for the legislature next session, but says there are forces pushing for it in Madison. He made the comments on the same day Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed into law right-to-work legislation for both public and private employees.
For many in Wisconsin, Michigan’s battle over right-to-work legislation may seem like a bad flashback. A pair of bills there would allow public and private employees to choose whether or not to join a union and pay dues. Though the language of the bills is different than Wisconsin’s Act 10, they have the same effect of starving unions of money and power. Labor activists have long expected law makers here to introduce right to work bills, but Governor Walker says it won’t happen this session.
“Things like what’s happening in Michigan might be good for them, but for us it would be a huge distraction from those priorities and we’re going to stay focused,” he says.
But Walker says there are forces and people in Madison that would like to see right-to-work in Wisconsin.
“I don’t think there’s a majority there," he says. "I think the vast majority of us realize what we did was important to balance our budget two years ago, but I think most people are ready to move forward.”
It’s all about making hard choices and saving money says Walker. He says Wisconsin has already been there and done that.
“A lot of states are going to go through tough decisions," he says. "We’re glad that we’ve already experienced those and things have gotten much better since then and we made some tough and prudent decisions and today unlike two years ago when we came in with a $3.6 deficit. We have a budget surplus. We have about a half a billion in reserves.”
Walker says his main objectives for the coming legislative session include passing a mining bill, developing the state’s workforce, transforming education, and continuing to reform government.