Assembly Dems claim transit services will be harmed

    Assembly Democrats attempted this week to convince Republicans to break with Gov. Scott Walker to prevent a potential cut local transit services.
    Rep. Tamara Grigsby, D-Milwaukee, listed a number of GOP-held districts that could stand to benefit from her amendment to enable the state to continue to receive transit aid under the Federal Transit Act.
    "This is huge," Grigsby said. "And for many people on the other side of the aisle who are in very vulnerable places, I would be really concerned about not voting for an amendment that would keep over one-third of your transit funding."
    Rep. Robin Vos, R-Rochester, responded that his caucus believes the bill would retain enough collective bargaining so that the bill would not violate federal standards for continuing the funding.
    Vos also said members plan to lobby the Obama administration to not punish workers because of "bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo."
    Rep. Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, said the budget repair bill will put local funding from the feds at risk.
    “Don’t do this,” Barca said. “It’s a small, simple amendment.”
    Meanwhile, Rep. Joel Kleefisch, R-Oconomowoc, took the microphone after Barca, saying, “The cameras are back and the minority leader is yelling. What a surprise.”
    Speaker Pro Tempore Bill Kramer, R-Waukesha, followed by telling members not to disparage the motives of their colleagues.
    After well over two hours of debate, the amendment was tabled on a 58-38 vote.
    Follow all the developments in the Madison budget battle at the Budget Blog:

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