February 23rd, 2011, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government (ALG) President Bill Wilson today issued the following statement condemning 14 Wisconsin State Senators for fleeing the state to avoid a vote on Governor Scott Walker's proposal to end collective bargaining for public pension and health care benefits:
"The 14 Senate Democrats have engaged in a gutless move to flee their states rather than vote up or down on Governor Walker's proposals to balance the budget. At a bare minimum, they shouldn't be paid. But if a quorum cannot be reached to work on budget matters, which requires 20 members be present, then Senate Republicans will have to consider other options.
"The Wisconsin Senate, of course, could move forward with a quorum of 17 to pursue legislation minus any budget items. They should put a straight right-to-work law on the table, which would give all workers in the state the option of whether they want to join a union or not. They could move it to the floor and have it on the calendar, and then adjourn for a day. The delinquent 14 Senate Democrats would probably come scurrying back rather quickly to try to defeat the measure.
"But if they did not, Senate Republicans could be even more aggressive with more legislation: lower Medicaid eligibility requirements, saving the state tens of millions of dollars, roll back authorizations for entire departments, enact a sunset rule on all regulations issued by the state government, and require that all regulations that affect more than 50 people be approved by the state legislature. These are all items Senate Democrat would want to be there to try to stop.
"Ultimately, these 14 faithless senators need to get back to work on the budget. If Senate Republicans move aggressively, the 'Delinquent 14' can be made to meet their obligations."