Madison — Today Governor Walker’s office released a timeline of union and Senate Democrats' actions related to balancing the budget.
February 17—Governor Doyle introduces a budget repair bill that raises taxes by one billion dollars.
February 18—Senate Democrats ram the bill through the Legislature, without a public hearing.
Campaign season—Governor campaigns on budget reform. Unions send out flyers warning that Walker might reform collective bargaining.
November 2—County Executive Scott Walker becomes the Governor-elect.
November 10—Governor-elect Walker asked Governor Doyle to suspend contract negotiations so their fiscal impact could be considered in the context of the 2011-13 state budget.
November 29—Governor-elect Walker penned a letter to the lame duck legislature, asking them not to take up state employee contracts. (attached)
December 7—Marty Beil, executive director of AFSCME calls Walker, “master of the plantation and we're supposed to be his slaves.”
December 10—The contract negotiations, which were not completed in the first 17 months of the contract period, were suddenly finalized.
December 16—State employee contracts fail to pass the Legislature. Marty Beil, executive director of AFSCME calls a Legislator “not a prostitute, a whore. W-H-O-R-E."
January 3—Governor Walker is inaugurated. Wisconsin faces a $137 million current fiscal year shortfall and looming $3.6 billion structural budget deficit.
February 11—Before introducing budget repair bill, Governor Walker personally briefs Senator Miller and Representative Barca on the bill. Governor Walker introduces budget repair bill.
February 15—The Joint Finance Committee takes 17 hours of public testimony on the budget repair bill.
February 16—The Joint Finance Committee passes the budget repair bill with changes to protect workers rights.
February 17—Fourteen Senate Democrats flee Wisconsin to avoid debating, offering amendments or casting a vote on the budget repair bill. They go to a Best Western in Illinois and continue to draw their paycheck, total cost to taxpayers $1,915 for the day plus the cost of their benefits. (Legislators are paid $49,943 per year. $49,943 divided by 365 days, times 14 State Senators = $1,915)
February 18—Public employee unions claim to support having their members pay 5.8% a pension contribution and 12.6% of the cost of health insurance coverage. Governor Walker states that when local governments receive cuts to state aid they are going to need the tools contained in his proposal to help balance their budget without layoffs or reductions in the delivery of cover government services. Fourteen Senate Democrats remain in Illinois, take an additional $1,915 from taxpayers for the day. Continue to receive taxpayer funded benefits.
February 19—Fourteen Senate Democrats continue their vacation in Illinois, take an additional $1,915 from taxpayers for the day. Continue to receive taxpayer funded benefits.
February 20—Fourteen Senate Democrats continue their vacation in Illinois, take an additional $1,915 from taxpayers for the day. Continue to receive taxpayer funded benefits.
February 21—Fourteen Senate Democrats continue their vacation in Illinois, take an additional $1,915 from taxpayers for the day. Continue to receive taxpayer funded benefits. Senate Democrats begin to fundraise.
Along with this timeline Governor Walker’s spokesman, Cullen Werwie, released the following statement:
Senate Democrats need to come back to work the jobs that they are getting paid to do. 24 hours was enough time for them to increase taxes by $1 billion dollars two years ago. Now with more than 17 hours of public testimony and a 5 day vacation to Illinois, Senate Democrats say they need more time.
The truth is at a time when Wisconsin is in a fiscal crisis, these individuals are on a taxpayer funded, campaign fundraising vacation—avoiding debate and their duty to cast their vote on a proposal that is 100% directed at balancing our state’s budget.
Instead of using Wisconsin’s fiscal crisis to fill their campaign coffers, Senate Democrats should do their job.