Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker, the Weston Dem defeated in the fall election, voted against state worker contracts.
Gov. Jim Doyle stopped work on high speed rail at the request of Gov.-elect Scott Walker, "recognizing that elections have consequences," Decker said.
Doyle and should have done the same with state contracts, he said.
Decker said the contracts should have been before the Legislature prior to the election.
"If these contracts had been brought to us before the election, as they should have been, this would have been an entirely different situation," he said.
"While I would obviously have rather seen a different outcome in the election ... the people of Wisconsin have spoken. They have said they want someone else making these decisions for them. There is no reason the next Legislature cannot take up these contracts.
"Now that the election has been held and the voters have spoken, I do not feel comfortable casting a vote in favor of these contracts."
Transcription of Decker's floor comments:
“In front of us today we have numerous labor contracts. But these contracts would not have been in front of us at this time except for the election results of Nov. 2. Some people lost in that election, including myself. Like it or not, state employees are going to have to negotiate four years of contracts with a new governor. Before I came to the Senate I negotiated contracts for bricklayers, and one of the worst things you could do is poke a stick in the eye of a new employer. Governor Doyle’s refused to call (the Legislature) into special session to approve contracts he negotiated despite a repeated request from many of you in this room. In 2002, former Governor McCallum made the same decision when he lost the election and held over contracts for a new governor and Legislature to act upon. If these contracts had been brought to us before the election, as they should have been, this would have been an entirely different situation. Let’s not forget right before the election Governor Doyle signed multi-million dollar contracts moving forward on high-speed rail. But within just a few days after the election, at the request of Governor-elect Walker, Governor Doyle stopped all state action on high-speed rail, recognizing that elections have consequences. While I would obviously like to have seen a different outcome in the election, both for myself and my Democratic colleagues, the people of Wisconsin have spoken and they have said they want someone else to make these decisions for them. There is no reason the next Legislature can not take up these contracts. Now that the election has been held and the voters have spoken, I do not feel comfortable casting a vote in favor of these contracts.”