Collective Bargaining Limits Likely to be in Budget

Republicans will add the governor’s collective bargaining limits to the new state budget if the Supreme Court doesn’t restore them by the end of today. That’s what Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald told reporters yesterday. The clampdown on public union negotiating power has been held up in the courts, after a judge ruled that lawmakers did not pass them properly in March. Fitzgerald said Republicans are “more solid than they’ve ever been” on passing the union limits a second time if need be. And they would not apply to transit workers, so the state would not risk losing 47-million dollars in federal money to help keep public buses running. The Assembly begins its debate today on the new budget. And it’s possible that some last-minute measures could be cut out – including a requirement that private contractors do most work that costs at least 100-thousand-dollars. That measure was debated privately by Assembly Republicans yesterday, after Door County’s highway commissioner said he would stop maintenance work on state highways if the item passes.