Time for state politicians to grow up

Graphic by Seth Anderson

In light of growing political tensions in Madison, both political parties have failed Wisconsin voters.

Neither political party has handled the progression of Gov. Scott Walker’s budget-repair bill proposal in a mature and professional manner.

Both sides have acted childish, interrupting the democratic process the citizens of this state and country cherish.

To begin with, Republicans have been attempting to move this bill along at a fast pace.

After releasing the proposed bill on Feb. 11, the governor and Republicans were prepared to vote as early as Feb. 17, less than one week later.

This left little time for members of the state Senate and Assembly to discuss the bill, and for constituents to relay their concerns to their representatives.

Furthermore, Republicans in favor of the bill have paid little attention to citizens opposed to the bill, refusing to make changes to the bill at this point.

“The bill is not negotiable,” State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said in an interview with ABC News.  “The bill will pass as is.”

Even the governor has said there is no room for negotiation considering the current budget deficit.

The state Assembly even faced chaos Friday evening when Republicans proceeded to vote on Walker’s budget-repair bill without the presence of Democrats.

Republicans eventually invalidated the vote, allowing the state Assembly to adjourn peacefully. However, this does not make up for their actions earlier.

Democrats have been just as immature in handling the issue.

Initially, fleeing the state and putting the vote on hold made a powerful statement about their stance.

This action by the Democrats was also a valiant effort to give citizens a chance to make their voices heard.

But after several days of hiding out across state lines, it’s beginning to get a little ridiculous.

Those of us who are working pay a portion of every paycheck toward state taxes. Some of that money is used to pay the salaries of state senators and representatives.

Right now, Wisconsin state taxpayers are funding the Democrat’s stay at a hotel across state lines.

Taking this into consideration, it’s time they return to the state and do their jobs.

If these Democrats are unable to handle that responsibility, then perhaps it is time to find someone to fill their place.

It’s as if the two parties are quarreling children on a school playground.

Both sides need to handle the issue more maturely and professionally.

Sen. Tim Cullen, D-Janesville, views the relations between Republicans and Democrats to be “atrocious and unacceptable.”

One of Cullen’s main points in his campaign was to work toward bipartisanship.

Cullen has hit the nail on the head. Even still, members of both parties refuse to work together productively to come up with a solution that is best for the state.

Protests and tensions will only continue to grow until both sides are willing to make concessions and work together to resolve this issue peacefully.