Saturday, March 17, 2012

Republicans Lose Majority Control Of The Wisconsin State Senate Halting Governor Walker's Agenda

Pam Galloway

State republican senator's erupt resignation from the GOP majority Senate chamber creates a major set back for any future legislative and policy reform for Governor Walker.

By H. Nelson Goodson
March 17, 2012

Madison - On Saturday, Republican Governor Scott Walker and the GOP majority in the state Senate were unexpectly set back from imposing any future legislative reforms when State Senator Pam Galloway (R-Wausau) from the 29th District officially resigned. With Galloways resignation, the GOP in the Senate chamber has lost its majority and splits control to both Republicans with 16 Senators and Democrats with 16 Senators.
Galloway was one of four GOP senators being recall this summer. The remaining Republican State Senators are being recall, Terry Moulton of Chippewa Falls, Van Wanggaard of Racine and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau. Also same day recall elections are set for Governor Scott Walker (R) and Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch (R).
The recall elections will continue without Galloway's name on the ballot, according to the state Government Accountabilty Board (GAB). The Primary Recall Elections will be held on May 8 and the General Recall Elections for June 5, costing taxpayers an estimated $9 million, according to the GAB.
Former Senator Galloway who was first elected on November 2010, cited family health issues for her decision to resign from office.
Galloway released a statement on Friday announcing her retirement from the Wisconsin State Senate. "After a great deal of thought and consideration, I’ve decided to put the needs of my family first. My family has experienced multiple, sudden and serious health issues, which require my full attention. Unfortunately this situation is not compatible with fulfilling my obligations as State Senator or running for re-election at this time."
The GOP still maintains the majority control in the State Assembly chamber, but without a majority control in the State Senate, the Republicans will have to work and compromise with Democrats to pass any future nonpartisan legislative reform or laws.
Both Republicans and Democrats hope they can get a majority control in the State Senate by electing partisan members after the recall elections.
The recall elections were sparked last summer when the GOP controlled legislature and Governor Walker eliminated union bargaining rights from most state employees, cut nearly $1 billion from public school funding, repealed in-state tuition for undocumented students residing in Wisconsin, cut health benefits for the elderly and the low income population, especially children and have failed to aid those Wisconsin workers whose state and federal unemployment benefits expired.
Governor Walker in a re-election campaign ad says, the unemployment rate went down to 7%, but fails to mention people whose unemployment benefits expire don't get counted on the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development statistics. Most of the unemployed and their families who have lost benefits in the state do end up homeless and without any source of income. They become ghosts and live in the shadows due to economic dispair throughout the state.

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