A lot of people have questioned why Governor Walker has remained so adamant about leaving the collective bargaining language in his budget repair bill, when to most of us it seems so…what should we say…non-budgetary. Even Mayor Barrett wondered exactly this question at Charlie Sykes Insight 2011 forum just yesterday. But I think the Mayor was speaking euphemistically.
Obviously if he removed the collective bargaining from the budget repair bill and brought it before the legislature as a separate bill, he wouldn’t need the quorum in the state Senate and they could repeal collective bargaining for public employees in a heart beat. But such a move presents several major problems for the Governor.
The first one exposes the lie that restricting the collective bargaining rights of public employees is a fiscal issue. It then will be obvious as the union busting stratagem that it truly is.
Second, if it’s really honey to placate the local governmental agencies and educational facilities losing state revenue sharing in his biennial budget, it has to remain in the budget repair bill or he loses all support locally. And his whole robbing Peter to pay Paul strategy falls apart.
Third, if it is split off of the budget repair bill, he blows the cover for many of his Republican legislators who have strong union representation in their districts. If it’s in the budget repair, they can dodge and weave (like Jeff Stone) and say I don’t want to give it up but the rest of the repair bill is too important to vote against it. Many of them wouldn’t dare vote against it if it were presented in a stand alone bill.
And, he loses his wedge with the 14 Democratic Senators who are on sabbatical in Illinois and the unions. Eventually he can keep the benefit give backs and the nefarious schemes against state assets and health care and declare victory overall by only giving away the non-fiscal collective bargaining.