Gov. Scott Walker has proposed spending $1.1 billion in his capital budget on building projects over the next two years, including $17 million to renovate Carlson Hall.
Walker’s proposal would be a 28.8 percent decrease from the current capital budget.
Also occurring over the weekend was the passing and signing of the controversial budget-repair bill.
With the 14 Democratic senators across state lines, some may have wondered if Walker’s budget-repair bill would ever be voted on.
However, the Republican legislators have made it happen, removing the piece of the bill that includes stripping unions of most collective bargaining rights and making state employees pay more money toward their healthcare and pension, among other things.
This was then made into a separate bill, which did not require the quorum of 20 senators that a bill that involves spending money requires.
The state senate passed the bill with a vote of 18-1. All Democratic senators were still absent. Sen. Dale Schultz, R-Richland Center, was the only one to vote no. Walker signed the bill Friday.
In a statement, Walker said the Senate Democrats had their chance to come home and debate the bill, which they refused.
The missing Democrats returned to the Capitol after learning about the passing of the bill.
Sen. Tim Cullen, D-Janesville, along with many of the Democratic senators, addressed the protesters when they returned.
Cullen said the fight is “as old as Democracy itself.”
“We’re going to continue this fight, and I can tell you the Koch brothers can’t print enough money to stop us,” Cullen said, referring to the adamant Conservative activists.
Sophomore Bryant Plank, a political science major, said at a rally Thursday on campus that he thought the Democrats did the right thing by going to Illinois to originally not let the bill pass.
“It was the only legitimate option they had,” Plank said. “It was just going to be pushed down their throats without anybody getting a chance to read it.”
Secretary of State Doug La Follette said he will not publish the bill right away, giving unions time to squeeze in new contracts before the law goes into effect.