What just happened in the state Senate?!

By Wisconsin State AFL-CIO

Republicans realize their ideas won’t win votes, so they’ve decided to rig the game, change the rules and disenfranchise tens of thousands of Wisconsin voters ahead of the next election. On March 12, Republicans used their Senate majority to ram through attacks on our fundamental rights to vote as citizens. By restricting ballot access and implementing new hurdles for citizens to register to vote, Republicans are blatantly trying to limit the electorate and rig elections in a politically-motivated, power-grabbing move.

Anti-voter legislation passed with a 17–16 with Rep. Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) joining Senate Democrats in the State Senate in opposition include:

  • SB 267: Adds new obstacles to voter registration.

  • SB 324: Shortens the hours and days of in-person absentee voting. This bill ends weekend early voting and limits weekday early voting to between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

  • SB 655: Expands the power of lobbyists to funnel campaign contributions to candidates by moving up the date lobbyists may begin making contributions from June 1 to April 15. This amounts to legalized bribery.

  • AB 396: Places complicated barriers for individuals in residential facilities such as nursing homes and adult-care facilities to vote absentee.

These votes come on the heels of a new announcement that Gov. Walker is plotting a special session to pass the voter-suppressing Voter ID law if the Wisconsin Supreme Court rules the current provision unconstitutional.

Gov. Walker hopes to have Voter ID in place for his re-election in November 2014. Voter ID severely impacts young people, people of color, the elderly and the disabled by placing what amounts to a poll tax on voters. People have marched and died for the right to vote. It is a tragedy that power-hungry Republicans are systematically dismantling the voting rights of Wisconsin citizens in order to reduce the number of people who could vote against them in the next election.

They’re rigging the game and hoping you don’t notice.

Republicans also voted down an opportunity to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour for all Wisconsin workers (SB 505). This was done in a minimum wage pulling motion, which was defeated 18–15 along party lines.

Hold your legislators accountable now and tell them how you feel about their actions on these important votes to working families. Remember in November the attacks on voting rights, worker rights, women’s rights and democracy.

In Solidarity,
Phil Neuenfeldt, President
Stephanie Bloomingdale, Secretary-Treasurer

P.S. Check out Scott Walker’s Blurred Lines parody by Alex Runner. You’re gonna love it!

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Last edited by Tyler Schuster.   Page last modified on March 13, 2014

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