Melissa Maynard, Stateline – Governors, unions brace for battle

In Wisconsin, the lame duck Democrat-controlled legislature and governor tried to ram through a set of more generous union contracts before ceding control of both chambers and the governorship to Republicans who, in many cases, campaigned on cutting state workers’ pay and benefits. The contracts failed after Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker broke ranks with his own party. “Now that the voters of Wisconsin have spoken, I do not feel comfortable casting a vote in favor of these contracts,” he said at the time. Governor Scott Walker has since angered unions with talk of everything from taking away some bargaining rights found in the state’s labor laws to privatizing the state Department of Commerce.

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