MADISON, Wis. — One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements regarding the desperate actions by Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled state legislature to use the government to take away the rights of Wisconsin workers and reward corporations.
“Last night’s action orchestrated by Gov. Scott Walker and Republicans, desperate to ram through this unconscionable attack on working families and reward Wall Street and big corporations, was a clear violation of the state’s open meetings law. This was the worst of partisan politics as Gov. Walker and the Republicans want the people of Wisconsin to pay for hundreds of millions in handouts to their corporate special interests by slashing public education, cutting tens of thousands from accessing health care and giving Gov. Walker unprecedented power to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants.
“Under Gov. Walker’s direction, the Republican legislature deliberately violated the open meetings law standards it has adopted for itself and every other governmental body in this state. The rules are clear and the Republicans broke them to pass this extreme assault on Wisconsin’s working families.
“The law requires 24 hours notice of every meeting ‘unless for good cause such notice is impossible or impractical, in which case shorter notice may be given, but in no case may the notice be provided less than two hours in advance of the meeting.’ Wisconsin Statutes s.19.84(3) Legislative rules take precedence over the open meetings law, but no rule authorizes a joint committee to meet without giving the public, and committee members, the 24 hours notice the open meetings law requires. The committee has not even claimed to have ‘good cause’ to shorten the notice period and, even if it could meet that standard, failed to give even the minimum two hours notice.
“Gov. Walker and the Republicans legislators lied to Wisconsin. Gov. Walker and the Republicans’ war on the middle class and working families to enrich the governor’s special interest corporate donors undoes 50 years of cooperation between Wisconsin’s workers and Republicans and Democrats.
“Every part of this debacle: from the $800 million in cuts to our kids’ education, to the dismantling of college affordability, to cutting 70,000 people from BadgerCare, to making it harder for seniors to get prescription drugs, to handing government over to high-priced private contractors and offering $200 million to the rich and Walker’s corporate benefactors – every piece of this nightmare is Gov. Walker’s and his Republican lapdogs’ fault. There is no shared sacrifice when it comes to Gov. Walker and these Republicans, only putting the needs of Wall Street and corporate profits ahead of the people of Wisconsin.”