Could it really only be 100 days?
Indeed, it has been just over three months since Republican Scott Walker took the oath of office as the Governor of Wisconsin. Now known across the country as the maverick who had the nerve to take on the powerful government employee unions in only his first month in office (or by opponents as the union busting supply sider), the mild-manner preacher’s son was off to a fast start in the weeks before he proposed sweeping changes to the collective bargaining power of public employees.
Before he even took office, Walker surprised many when he turned down $800 million in federal transportation funding for a high speed rail project he had said during the campaign that the state did not need and could not afford to maintain.
Immediately upon taking the oath of office, he called the legislature into special session; getting both houses (now brimming with newly-minted GOP majorities) straight to work on economic development proposals. Several of his bills passed with bipartisan support. and became law by the middle of February. These included passing long standing GOP initiatives like tort reform and HSA incentives to new proposals like revamping the state’s Commerce department into a public-private economic development agency.
And then, he proposed curbing the powers of public employee unions….
Fourteen fleeing state senators, thousands of work-skipping teachers, three weeks of Capitol Sleep-ins and one protest speech by Michael Moore later, and we’ve reached this first milestone. It is the one by which most governors are judged on the construction of their cabinet, their use of the bully pulpit and maybe the ability to get a piece or two of legislation passed, or at least significantly advanced.
MacIver’s Bill Osmulski sat down with Governor Walker and asked him for his thoughts on the first 100 days of his administration