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The Battle of Madison

State workers and their supporters fill the Wisconsin state capitol building in Madison
(pchgorman, Flickr)
State workers and their supporters fill the Wisconsin state capitol building in Madison

Michigan's budget debate is just getting started.    The governor has called for deep cuts and tax increases.   The plan has been criticized. But the situation is no where near as passionate as in Wisconsin. 

The streets of Madison, Wisconsin continue to be a battleground between Republican state lawmakers and their supporters who want to  end collective bargaining for state workers and state workers and their Democratic state lawmaker supporters who oppose it.     For several days, the budget impasse has stalled business at the state capitol.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports 25,000 protesters besieged the capitol Thursday. Teachers, ironworkers and kindergartners among them — from throughout Wisconsin for the day-long rally, which special education teacher Lily Cary of Blanchardville described as a "civics lesson in the flesh." The fourth day of protests against Walker's budget repair bill attracted more people from outside of the Madison area than those earlier in the week. 

State Senate Democrats left the state to prevent a legislative quorom so a vote could take place Governor Scott Walker's proposal.   That did not sit well with Walker, who called on the Senate Democrats to return  at a news conference Thursday. 

"They get paid to come to work, and they should be coming to work."

WISN quotes walker as saying his office has recieved 8 thousand emails, mostly in support of his plan to eliminate collective bargaining for state workers. 

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.