Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker stood before Wisconsin lawmakers yesterday, defended his union busting tactics against public workers, and then announced he wanted to gouge $1.5 billion out of the state's public school and local government aid spending.
If he keeps this up, it's going to feel like we're neighbors with Mississippi, and not by accident.[jump]
Under Walker's proposal, aid to schools would be slashed by $834 million, and communities would not be allowed to raise property taxes to make up the shortfall.
Have no fear, he told cheeseheads wondering how schools are going to get by with a nearly 8 percent whack out of their annual budgets. All lawmakers have to do is strip public employees -- teachers -- of their collective bargaining rights and all will be right with the world.
He's no closer to that goal this morning. There's still no sign of the 14 Democrats in the state Senate who decamped for Illinois two weeks to prevent a vote on the union-busting legislation, and he keeps threatening to pink slip state employees if they don't return.
Walker's also dealing with a PR nightmare. Polls show Wisconsites disapprove of what he's doing. Protesters have been camped out in the state Capitol for two weeks. And yesterday, his administration tried to have police prevent demonstrators from entering the Capitol.
"It was as scary as can be," said a retired teacher from Appleton. "This feels like I'm living in Russia."
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Have you seen these senators?