This morning on a local news channel, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker reiterated a threat to send out layoff notices for public employees “as soon as early next week” if Democrats didn’t return to Madison to pass his budget repair bill. There’s a deadline built into the bill; if a debt refinancing scheme that saves anywhere from $100-$165 million dollars isn’t put into motion by Friday, it can’t be done, leaving the state to search for additional cost-cutting measures to fill the short-term budget gap. Basically, Walker is weaponizing that deadline with the layoff threat. The layoff notices are required under the current contract, and don’t necessarily mean that the layoffs would take place immediately.
State Senator Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee), one of the 14 hiding out in Illinois, shrugged off the threat. “He’s throwing a bunch of stuff at the wall,” Larson said. “He knows on the wrong side of history. He should start listening to the people outside in the streets.”