Wisconsin 14 return; will march to Capitol Saturday
They’re home at last, and glad to be back. Today the 14 Wisconsin Democratic Senators who left the state on February 17 to protest many of the provisions contained in Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill crossed the border and headed for their home districts.
But the Senator and his caucus won’t be relaxing for long. Tomorrow they will march to the Capitol together at noon and join a rally held by the Farm Labor Tractorcade.
“This is for the people of Wisconsin” said Larson. “To thank them for everything they’ve done and to remind them to stay energized for the upcoming recall effort.”
With the Senate adjourned until April 5, the Democrats will have a few weeks to sort out their game plan before the budget process gets underway in earnest.
“We plan to catch up on what we’ve missed, and get up to speed on strategies for dealing with other troubling items in the so-called budget repair bill” explained Larson.
But just over the horizon is the real battle – the 2012-213 biennial budget. As proposed, Gov. Walker claims it cuts the state budget deficit by up to 95%, but at the cost of cutting many public programs and services, some, like public transit, to the point where their future existence is unlikely.
“This budget attacks teachers in a way we’ve never seen before, so we’ll be really engaged with that, as well as the cuts to local funding in the form of shared revenue” said Larson. “It’s going to be a long fight.”
In the meantime, 16 state senators are the subjects of newly-launched recall campaigns. Eight Democrats and eight Republicans, or every senator eligible for recall, will have to sweat out the next 60 days while they wait to see if sufficient signatures are gathered. Those who face recall will have to run in special elections in their districts, which will take place sometime in September, depending on when paperwork is filed and approved.
Governor Walker is eligible for recall beginning in November, but if he is recalled, Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch will maintain her seat. Wisconsin is one of 17 states that run the lieutenant governor’s race separately from the governor’s race.