State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) is promising to propose a right-to-work bill in the coming legislative session in January.
“I emphasized the fact that we in the legislature simply cannot avoid engaging in an open debate of right-to-work this legislative session — a debate that has, in fact, been simmering in Wisconsin since before the passage of Act 10. Recent nationwide polling from Gallup has shown that an overwhelming majority of Americans are supportive of some version of right-to-work legislation and many of Wisconsin’s businesses have adopted individual versions of these protections for their workers,” Fitzgerald said.
A day after Fitzgerald announced he would pursue the bill, Gov. Scott Walker said the move would detract from his attempts to cut taxes and make schools more accountable. “My position has been — it hasn’t changed — I think it’s a distraction,” the GOP governor told Capitol reporters.
Critics contend the policy should be called a “Right-to-work for less.” State Sen. Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) said, “Gov. Walker has consistently said that this is not a priority for him, but he has never used his bully pulpit to threaten to veto it. In failing to do so, the governor appears to be encouraging legislators to send him a right-to-work bill and then pretend it wasn’t his idea. But there is no doubt that if this bill reaches his desk he will sign it. Changing Wisconsin to a right-to-work state appears part and parcel of an extreme Republican agenda that looks to satisfy the wealthy and corporate wish lists. It sure looks like their plan is to rip open old wounds with their divide and conquer strategy against workers’ rights just like they did with Act 10.”