Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill stripping Wisconsin public employees of their ability to collectively bargain despite demonstrations, plunging popularity, and polls showing a majority of his consituents opposed the legislation. But the fight over workers' rights rights in the Badger State -- and in Indiana -- continues.
There has been some talk that Walker's bill will head to the courts, where opponents could argue that in unilaterally forcing the bill through the Senate, Wisconsin Republicans violated the state's open meetings law. Members of the legal community, however, are skeptical that the tactic would work. And those calling for a lawsuit seem unlikely to get help from Democratic lawmakers. In an interview this morning on WLS, one of the Wisconsin 14, State Senator Jim Holperin said,
"I think everyone in the legislature recognizes that this bill was
probably legitimately passed. Until someone challenges it successfully,
we've got to just believe that these rights have been eliminated." (Holperin and his 13 colleagues will rally with supporters in Madison Saturday.)
Recourse for those angered by the bill that is already on the table is a recall effort aimed at eight Senate Republicans. Progressive organizations are ramping up their efforts and gathering the necessary signatures. One group announced it raised $200,000 for their recall campaign last night alone. And recent polls show that if the recall option is put to the voters, there's a good chance it will pass in at least some of the senate districts.
The dramatics in Wisconsin understandably dominated the headlines over the past few days, but let's not forget about the ongoing stand-off over workers' rights in Indiana. Thousands marched in Indianapolis yesterday in support of union members as Assembly Democrats continued their protests from Urbana. The leader of the Indiana Democrats said the legislators have no plans to return to the Hoosier State in the near future.