It’s been a tumultuous and expensive year for Wisconsin politics, and it comes to a conclusion today, at least at the polls. Two Democratic state senators face recall elections today, in the wake of the state’s new law that sharply limits public employee collective bargaining rights.
Republicans are assured of keeping control of state government, where they hold the governor’s seat and majorities in both the state senate and the assembly. But they could widen their one-seat state senate lead by upsets. Read more from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
Last week, Republicans took four of six senate seats that were part of the recall effort, with Democrats claiming two victories. In all, the campaign to unseat state senators has cost an estimated $37 million.
The Wisconsin recall effort has attracted national attention as states in the Great Lakes and elsewhere grapple with tight budgets. It followed dramatic weeks of protests in Madison over Gov. Scott Walker’s effort to pass a law severely limiting public employees’ collective bargaining rights. The Democrats facing recalls today were among 14 senators who left the state, rather than vote on the legislation.
Walker, who was elected last November, could face his own recall effort by Democrats next year.
Check out Changing Gears’ continuing coverage of the Wisconsin political situation and the efforts by lawmakers across the region to affecting public employees.