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Saturday, March 02, 2024
Taylor: Return of Senate Democrats up to Walker

taylor: State Sen. Lena Taylor, D-Milwaukee, spoke with The Daily Cardinal from an undisclosed location outside of Wisconsin.

Taylor: Return of Senate Democrats up to Walker

Sen. Lena Taylor, D-Milwaukee, one of the 14 Democratic state senators who have fled Wisconsin to delay the proposed budget repair bill, spoke out against the bill and Gov. Scott Walker Wednesday, saying she hopes he will eventually be recalled.

""I want people to see him for what he is, so that they will ultimately recall him and take him out,"" Taylor said in a phone interview with The Daily Cardinal.

Taylor did not say when she or the other senators would return to Wisconsin, saying it is up to Walker.

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""We know we're not coming today,"" Taylor said.

She said Walker's bill is unnecessary and is not about the budget, saying if it was, ""he could take the concessions the unions gave him and he would meet whatever budgetary issues he wants to meet.""

Taylor said a third of the items in the bill are not budget-related, and that she fought to take those items out.

Recently, Walker said if the Senate does not vote on the bill by Friday, he will have to lay off 1,500 public employees and warns that if it doesn't get passed before July 1, he will have to lay off more.

""When the governor says he has to lay people off, it's a lie,"" Taylor said.

She said other alternatives exist to solve the state's budget issues and it is Walker's choice to explore them.

Taylor also criticized the way Walker introduced the bill. She said Walker refused to consult Democrats or union leaders, instead only listening to members of his own party when constructing the bill.

""He's not the king, he's the governor,"" Taylor said. ""He tends to believe he is a one-man government.""

Taylor said she appreciates the groups taking part in protests, especially students and organizations that endorsed Walker during the election.

""That's meaningful, because it's one thing for it to be individuals that didn't support him, but it's another thing that there are so many individuals who did support him who are shocked to see he has overreached and gone so far,"" Taylor said.

With Democrats gone, Republican senators plan to vote on other pieces of legislation that do not use state funding, and thus require a smaller quorum that they can meet without any Democrats present. Taylor said this is not the time for the Senate to vote on other bills.

""It is sad that instead of trying to figure out how to be leaders to prevent this divisiveness that this governor has created, they are trying to go forward with major pieces of legislation,"" Taylor said.

Republicans have also looked into making senators pick up their paychecks at the Capitol, in hopes of bringing the Democrats back to Madison.

""That threat doesn't work for me,"" Taylor said.

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