Feb. 17, 2011 -- Wisconsin lawmakers are poised to pass a bill that would strip government workers of virtually all collective bargaining rights. The bill would also require public workers to pay half the costs of their pensions and at least 12.6 percent of their health care coverage.
Wisconsin is facing a $3.6 billion budget shortfall. The changes would save the state $30 million by July 1 and $300 million over the next two years.
It is the most aggressive anti-union proposal in the nation and has inspired large protests from teachers, students and prison guards. Yesterday, up to 20,000 people filled the statehouse demonstrating against the bill, and today the head of the 98,000-member statewide teachers union is calling on all of the state's residents to come to the capitol. As a result of the protests the Madison school district will have to close for a second consecutive day; yesterday more than 40 percent of its 2,600-union employees called in sick.
Our question to you today: Would You Support the Bill?