Nearly a year and a half ago, then newly minted Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) instituted sweeping reforms to help ease his states $3.6 billion budget deficit. Part of this plan included a requirement for public service employees to make a reasonable contribution to their health plans and pensions.
While still much less than what most in the private sector would pay, this reform set off a nationwide firestorm, and arguably the first ‘occupation’ of 2011, as the teachers unions crowded into the capital building in Madison for nearly two straight weeks. The reforms were passed, and went into effect shortly after. The past six months have been a constant build up, as hundreds of thousands of signatures were rounded up in an attempt to force a recall vote for both Governor Walker and Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch.