On the 10th anniversary of former Gov. Scott Walker's strict limits on public sector unions in Wisconsin, Milfred and Hands talk about Act 10 with the one Republican senator who voted against it a decade ago.
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Dale Schultz, of Richland Center, once the GOP’s majority leader in the Senate, still faults his political party for the deep division it created across the state.
"I feel sad about neighbor fighting neighbor -- the refusal to talk to people, (to) sit in certain places in church, or at Rotary clubs or civic clubs, because of where people were on that issue and how it divides us," Schultz says.
He tells our political podcasters on this week's episode of "Center Stage, with Milfred and Hands" that savings were needed to fix a deep state budget deficit in 2011, and public employees had to contribute more for their benefits. But Walker was wrong to spring his dramatic changes on the public without giving any ground or trying to build broader support, according to Schultz.
"I think it hit so violently, so fast, that many, many people were just stunned," Schultz says. When protests erupted, "My colleagues were like deer in the headlights, wanting to go pray," the former senator says. "My own sense was God wasn't necessarily on our side."
The State Journal editorial board offered its view of Act 10 in Sunday's editorial, "Act 10 fight a dark time with mixed results."
STATE JOURNAL VIEW: Union restrictions brought savings and flexibility but divided state, hurt morale
“Center Stage, with Milfred and Hands” is the State Journal’s weekly podcast from the sensible center of Wisconsin politics. It features Scott Milfred, the newspaper’s editorial page editor, and Phil Hands, the State Journal's political cartoonist.
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