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Tensions rise in Madison as the finance bill stalls

Thousands converge on the Madison Capitol Building.
Thousands converge on the Madison Capitol Building.
Article by Abe Sauer

It would take someone hiding under a rock or not listening to news reports to know that the atmosphere around the Wisconsin capitol is abuzz with tension and excitement. It would also be reasonable to assume that possibly the worst from the situation is yet to come.

Governor Scott Walker today continued his pursuit of pushing through his bill to eliminate the collective bargaining powers for employees around the state. His mission, he says, is to drastically reduce or eliminate the massive financial deficit faced by Wisconsin.

Many of his constituents are interpreting his mission rather is to break down the multitudes of unions that demand higher wages and less costly benefits from their employers, primarily the state of Wisconsin.

Today has become yet another day that this heavy debate has rocked our state capitol in Madison as the Democratic Senators took measures on their own as the bill proposal was looming closer towards a vote this afternoon. However, with only 19 Republican Senators and a mandatory 20 Senators required for a quorum, the session came a screeching halt as a room-to-room search was conducted in an effort to find the missing leaders.

It was later learned that the Democratic Senators allegedly fled the state into neighboring Illinois to prevent the vote from occurring. Their reasoning, to some, ran along the same lines as those who were protesting the bill that threated to derail union representation for many middle-class employees of the state. To others, their actions merely suggested they were not comfortable with the limited amount of time they were given to interpret the details of the proposal and to debate its contents.

For the third day in a row, Madison School District students will not be in class on Friday, with the Superintendent’s decision being made out of safety concerns for the thousands of students who attend. Other school districts in neighboring cities in central and southern Wisconsin are following the lead by cancelling classes. Those opposing the school cancellations have called it an irresponsible action.

Walker has announced that he will not discuss with the bill with the Democratic Senators via phone, but will discuss the situation when the absent Senators return. Many protesters assume that as soon as the required one Senator is brought back to the capitol building that a vote will take place immediately.


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