Should Act 10 be repealed? Democratic candidates for governor weigh in

Should Act 10 be repealed? Democratic candidates for governor weigh in

With just a few days left until the primary election in Wisconsin, News 3 is asking the eight Democratic candidates for governor where they stand on issues that matter to you.

In 2011, Gov. Scott Walker introduced a collective bargaining bill that would later become known as Act 10, which changed state rules regarding public employee unions. Weeks of protests followed, and 14 Democratic state senators from Wisconsin traveled to Illinois in February 2011 to delay a vote on the bill. It was later passed and signed into law.

In 2011, Walker said the measure would “save jobs, protect taxpayers, reform government and help balance the budget.”

Most of the Democratic gubernatorial candidates said they would repeal Act 10 if they were elected as governor.

Question: Would you repeal Act 10 if elected as governor?

Kathleen Vinehout: “Absolutely, I would repeal Act 10. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done beforehand, and part of that is looking at the details of how state government is running. We have some early information from the Audit Bureau that shows us that there is a huge dissatisfaction with workers, say, for example, at the veterans’ home.”

Tony Evers: “Absolutely. I fought against it as state superintendent. I spoke at the Capitol. I’ve seen the either unintended or intended consequences of it. I think collective bargaining is a right, and people should be able to do that. But I’ve seen the unintended consequences — or intended, I guess, someone could say — about how it’s driven teachers out of the profession.”

Mike McCabe: “We also have to do away with Act 10 because of the effects it’s had in places like schools. We’ve got fewer and fewer young people going into the teaching profession by going into teacher training. We’ve got more and more veteran teachers leaving the profession early .”

Kelda Roys: “As a member of the state Assembly, I helped lead the fight against Act 10 because I knew it would have a devastating economic impact on families and communities all throughout Wisconsin. And we’ve seen that is the case. It’s really hurt teachers. It’s hurt health care providers like nurses. It’s even made our correctional facilities less safe.”

Josh Pade: “I don’t think repealing Act 10 is the best way forward. It’s a 7-year-old law. There’s a lot involved with repealing it that goes beyond the really hard core sticking points that have divided the state. Scott Walker tried to tackle a deficit by attacking people and dividing people. I don’t think that’s the way we need to fix things.”

Matt Flynn: “First of all, I would repeal Act 10, and I would restore the integrity the morale and the regard of teachers in our society. The second thing I’d do is get rid of what they call right to work. It’s really just a misnomer. It’s a lower wage law and restore prevailing wage.”

Mahlon Mitchell: “If I were king and I could snap my fingers, I would repeal Act 10 right now. But I’m not king, and I can’t snap my fingers and repeal that. There’s no doubt where I stand with Act 10. Act 10 was a bad law … Now I’d love to have, come Nov. 6, a Democratic Assembly and Senate as well as governor. That’d be fantastic. So in that case, yes, you can repeal Act 10 . But if you don’t have that, you’re still going to have to repeal Act 10 by way of going through the legislature. ”

Paul Soglin: “Repealing Act 10 is going to come. There’s no question about it. It’s just a matter of when. But the most important thing is that the benefits that were destroyed by Act 10 are benefits that should not just go to public employees but should go to all hardworking families in this state.”