‘It will be a tough haul to get that to pass’: What’s next for Act 10?
MADISON, Wis. — This week’s election has reignited the hopes of teachers across Wisconsin. With Gov.- elect Tony Evers set to take over office come January, many are on standby and waiting to see what the future holds for Act 10.
“This has been a really difficult time for folks working in public education,” said Madison Teachers Inc. President Andrew Waity. “We are really looking forward to seeing a change to how we are portrayed in the state.”
In 2011, more than 100,000 people protested at the state capitol for weeks after Gov. Scott Walker introduced what would become known as Act 10 just months after he was elected.
Waity hopes that change comes with Tony Evers, who told us in an interview several months ago, he would repeal Act 10 if elected.
“Absolutely. I fought against it as state superintendent,” Evers said. “I spoke at the Capital. I’ve seen the consequences of it. I think collective bargaining is a right and people should be able to do that. I’ve seen the unintended consequences or intended, I guess someone could say, about how it’s driven teachers out of the profession, prevented young people from going into the profession, and it’s resulted in legislative efforts that dumb down the profession of teaching.”
Although Democrats have high hopes that Evers will ignite change, some say the chances of that happening may be slim, including those who were in the capitol when Act 10 was passed.
“We do have a big majority of Republicans in both the Senate and the Assembly so it will be a tough haul to get that to pass,” said former state Rep. Joe Parisi.
Republicans agree and are already laying stakes against revisiting Act 10.
“I don’t think it’s something you could even create any momentum for in a Republican legislature,” said Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald.
But that doesn’t mean that the teachers union won’t try.
We reached out to Evers’ campaign managers, asking how they plan to repeal Act 10. Evers’ campaign manager sent us the following response:
“Governor-elect Evers said during the campaign trail that he didn’t expect a bill repealing Act 10 would make it to his desk during the first biennium, and this remains the case given Republican control of both legislative houses. Governor-elect Evers is focused on ensuring workers in Wisconsin are treated with respect and have a voice in their workplace.”
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