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Walker Signs Into Law Bill Banning Required Labor Agreements

Governor Also Says Road Funding Disagreements Won’t Affect Rest Of Budget Negotiations

Scott Walker

Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill that prohibits local governments from requiring contractors working on public projects to use collective bargaining agreements.

The governor signed the bill into law Monday at AmeriLux International, a De Pere manufacturer of building materials.

Republican supporters of the measure argue it gives non-union firms more opportunities to win public work. Democratic opponents say it is chipping away at the power of workers and unions, and is another attempt to limit the influence of unions in the state and diminish local control.

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Few places in the state require the agreements. More than 20 other states have passed similar legislation.

“Union shops can easily compete for this work just like businesses that don’t have unions. We’re just not picking winners and losers,” Walker said.

At the same stop, Walker said his disagreements with Assembly Speaker Robin Vos over road funding won’t affect the rest of the budget negotiations.

Walker and Vos have repeatedly argued over transportation, most recently in a series of text messages released under Wisconsin’s open records law. But Walker told reporters after the bill signing in DePere that his disagreements with Vos won’t have any bearing on the rest of the budget.

“You know, from our standpoint, we agree probably on 95 to 99 percent of all the major issues out there,” Walker said. “On transportation, we have some slight variance in the sense that he is somewhat open to a gas tax. I am not. But overall, we agree on the big things, and I think over the last six years, he’s probably been one of my fiercest advocates in the Legislature.”

When it comes to transportation, it’s not just Vos who’s at odds with Walker. GOP lawmakers took the rare step of setting Walker’s transportation budget aside so they can build their own instead.