50 Rallies in 50 State Capitols to Support Wisconsin

Visit MoveOn.org to find information about a rally in your state.

SardinesWear red!

In Wisconsin and around our country, the American Dream is under fierce attack. Instead of creating jobs, Republicans are giving tax breaks to corporations and the very rich—and then cutting funding for education, police, emergency response, and vital human services.

On Saturday, February 26, at noon local time, we are organizing rallies in front of every statehouse and in every major city to stand in solidarity with the people of Wisconsin. We demand an end to the attacks on worker's rights and public services across the country. We demand investment, to create decent jobs for the millions of people who desperately want to work. And we demand that the rich and powerful pay their fair share.

We are all Wisconsin.

We are all Americans.

This Saturday, we will stand together to Save the American Dream. Be sure to wear Wisconsin Badger colors—red and white—to show your solidarity. Sign up today to join in!


I'd love to support as rally like this, only thing is, the American Dream is pure B.S., it always has been. The great authority on real life in America, George Carlin, R.I.P., puts it this way,"they call it the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it." The American Dream is a fantasy you're sold to help you meekly accept a lifetime of debt and wage slavery.

Finally, the lords of the castle are getting to go back to enforcing feudal law. The good old days have returned.

...the blindingly obvious fact remains that whatever progress America has made towards a just and decent society didn't happen because of people who said "I'd like to, but...." It happened because of people who got out there and put it on the line. Like Carlin himself, to name just one, no matter how he may have joked about the "American Dream." And in case you haven't realized it, there's still an awful lot left to lose. So assuming you actually care (and assuming you aren't a right wing troll trying to inspire people to stay home), get your cynical ass out there!

Struggles for solidarity and resistance to counter the unprecedented right-wing assault of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and his Republican allies on workers’ rights continue across the state. The battles began with Walker’s proposal to curtail most collective bargaining rights for nearly all public employee unions across the state, but has evolved to new levels with allegations of lying and improprieties and the unveiling of a draconian, Tea-Party inspired state budget that could result in the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs. Walker’s extreme partisan agenda has already placed public employee union rights at risk and, with the release of the state budget, now is targeting children, families and communities. With organizations such as the Wisconsin Wave Resistance and Defend Wisconsin forming to advance the causes of worker’s rights and the battle against corporatization, the Democratic party is advocating that the principal political reaction should focus on recalling at least three Republican senators, thereby restoring the Senate to Democratic control. Walker’s nine-week reign has literally set off the greatest political battle in the state’s history, marked by unprecedented levels of protest, exceeding those in the Vietnam war era, calls for recall elections, charges of abuse of authority and serious questions of honesty and legality on the part of Walker and the two brothers, believed to be the first to each control a state legislative house in U.S. history. The “constitutional crisis” that Sen. Scott Fitzgerald has raised as an issue is clearly, in the minds of most Wisconsin residents, not that of 14 missing Democratic Senators, but rather the continuing, flagrant abuse of power and misinformation spread by Walker and the Fitzgeralds. Never have three political figures generated so much litigation or accusations of misleading the public. National labor leaders have been unequivocal in arguing that Wisconsin stands at the epicenter of the struggle over public worker rights such as collective bargaining. As AFSCME union president Gerald McEntee put it succinctly, the state is “ground zero in the fight for labor rights in the United States.” Walker and the Fitzgeralds are facing several lawsuits, including those filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (over the use of state troopers to track down AWOL Democratic lawmakers over a labor dispute), AFSCME and WSEU Council 24 (against Walker for failure to bargain in good faith), and the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council and Isthmus (failure to Walker administration to respond timely to open records request). In addition, a 66-page legal memorandum outlining potential constitutional and other legal problems with Walker’s budget repair bill has surfaced, shedding further insights into the legal strategy against the plan. As noted, AFT-Wisconsin and the Wisconsin State Employees Union are in the process of filing unfair labor practice charges against Scott Walker for failing to negotiate in good faith with state workers. Since taking office, Walker has made no attempt to bargain with state employees as required by law. Even before taking office, Walker worked to scuttle a tentative agreement between the state and union members. Despite the fact that state employee unions have publicly stated for weeks that they would agree to fiscal concessions the governor demanded, Scott Walker continues to demand that workers give up their most basic rights. Walker's approach was taken to a whole new level recently, when he threatened to issue up to 6,000 layoff notices to state employees if his demands to terminate their rights were not met. Had Walker complied with the law meeting his obligation to bargain in good faith, no layoffs would be required. And should Democratic Senators be arrested, or “detained” as called for by James Troupis, Scott Fitzgerald’s lawyer, then more litigation is sure to ensue. Although the protests and general public debate over the proposal have for the most part been a relatively peaceful, there is no guarantee that this will continue indefinitely. As the prospects for reasonable compromise dim, the appeal of unreason grows. In response to Walker’s plan, tens of thousands of protestors have marched in and around the Capitol building to chants of "kill the bill" and "protect union rights." Although Walker has claimed that “almost all” of the protestors have come from outside Wisconsin, the Wisconsin version of Politifact and other observers have found this claim to be false. Senate Democrats, hiding in Illinois to prevent the Republican Senate here from raising the quorum needed to pass a fiscal bill such as the repair bill, have pledged that if troublesome provisions relating to ending collective bargaining, as well as Medicaid and transit are removed, the bill could be passed in hours.” However, she noted, the Republicans, led by Walker, appear at this point to continue to refuse to compromise. Sen. Fitzgerald is trying to command police action against the Republicans’ political enemies. A resolution calling for the arrest and detention of 14 Democratic Senators if they do not show up at the Capitol today is “insanely wrong” and an “unreasonable abuse of police power,” according to James Palmer, executive director of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association (WPPA), the union representing Wisconsin State Patrol officers, Capitol Police officers and nearly 11,000 active and retired law enforcement offices in the state. Republican Senators on Mar. 3 approved a resolution instructing police to compel the Democrats “with or without force” to go to the Capitol by 4 p.m. Palmer said: “Politics aside, encouraging the forcible detention of duly elected lawmakers because they won’t allow you to dictate with a free hand is an unreasonable abuse of police power,” Palmer said. “Due to the fact that Wisconsin officers lack any jurisdiction across state lines, does Senator Fitzgerald intend to establish a ‘lawmaker border patrol? The thought of using law enforcement officers to exercise force in order to achieve a political objective is insanely wrong and Wisconsin sorely needs reasonable solutions and not potentially dangerous political theatrics.” Although the most controversial aspect of the Walker administration has been the proposal to largely end collective bargaining, other actions have been called into question, on numerous grounds, including those of the constitutionality of various proposals and the legality of actions involving the state troopers. As several observers have noted, there was a certain irony in charges of cronyism arising at a time when Walker was challenging public-sector union which was designed, at least in part, to address problems arising from political patronage. Walker recently named to serve as superintendent, or head of the Wisconsin State Patrol (WSP), the state’s police force, longtime law enforcement official Stephen “Steve” Fitzgerald, 68, father of Sen. Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau), the Senate Majority Leader and his younger brother, Rep. Jeff Fitzgerald (R-Horicon), the Assembly Speaker. Fitzgerald began his law enforcement career with the Chicago Police Department. In 1974, he became the chief of police in the village of Hustiford in Dodge County, and in 1979, he joined the Dodge County sheriff's department as a detective. First elected Dodge County Sheriff in 1988, Fitzgerald served as sheriff for 14 years before being appointed a U.S. Marshal by former President George W. Bush in 2002. Charges of cronyism emerged in response to the appointment. Democratic Party of Wisconsin Research Director Graeme Zielinski said the appointment called into question "whether best practices were followed," and argued that with the two Fitzgerald sons controlling each house of the Legislature, respectively, "there's just a lot of power concentrated with very few people." Steve Fitzgerald assumed the $105,678-a-year position on Feb. 14, the day Gov. Walker introduced the budget repair bill. Three days later, the troopers were called out to the home of Democratic State Sen. Mark Miller of Monona, the Senate minority leader. CREW, A Washington, D.C.-based government watchdog group has filed lawsuits in connection with this and a subsequent incident in which troopers were again called to the homes of Senate Democrats. And at least one sign was ominous, reflecting a view held by some that the governor and his allies may be in for some surprises in the near future: “See You in Prison, Boys,” read a Department of Corrections employee’s sign. Resistance to Walker Through Social Networking The prolonged standoff in Wisconsin, which began Feb. 11, has galvanized labor and community activists who have raised numerous arguments against the Gov. Scott Walker's “budget repair” bill, which includes provisions elimination most collective bargaining rights for public employees in the state. Critics of the plan have argued that it is part of a larger, national assault on the Democratic Party and its aligned interest groups, particularly its most powerful ally, the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC), the state teachers union. Other parts of the bill, including the prospective loss of mass transit funding because of the changes in collective bargaining, the impact of new provisions relating to Medicaid, and the development of a new public-private authority to replace the state Department of Commerce, have also drawn considerable public criticism. Organizations in the Fight Against Walker The following are the major protest groups that have formed beyond the traditional alliances between unions (national, state and local) and progressive political organizations, particularly those such as Organizing for America, MoveOn, and the SEIU. Wisconsin Wave of Resistance Movement- The Wisconsin Wave of Resistance, a umbrella group of union officials, student, business and community leaders, opposed to state fiscal hyper-austerity and corporatization, has announced plans to oversee the campaign against Walker and his chief business ally, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC Wisconsin Wave’s next protests will come this Wednesday against Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) at the corporate lobby group’s statewide conference in Madison. The Wisconsin Wave describes itself as a non-partisan democracy movement initiated by over 100 Wisconsin leaders, with hundreds more signing on every day,”moving forward together to overcome the agenda of Walker and his extraction industry backers, and to create for Wisconsin the positive economic and political future all of us deserve.” A formal call for the Wisconsin Wave has been initiated by over 100 signators. That list, as well as the call, is on the website - http://wisconsinwave.org/ According to Wisconsin Wave, the threat to the state’s democratic traditions posed by Walker and the Fitzgerald brothers is unprecedented: “Today, Wisconsin’s democratic tradition faces the greatest threat it has ever known. Gov. Scott Walker, operating at the direction of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, is using the financial crisis caused by Wall Street speculators as an excuse to impose devastating cuts to public services. The WMC agenda is shameless. They intend to shift the tax burden even further away from major corporations and onto the rest of us. Their agenda is undemocratic. They would protect themselves from voters by lowering Wisconsin’s voting rights guarantees to those of Alabama and Mississippi. Their agenda is heartless. It has no place in it for the needs of Wisconsin’s youth, our poor, our disabled, or our unemployed at this time when their needs are greatest. The WMC-Walker agenda would destroy everything that once made Wisconsin great: a robust educational system; safe, high-paying jobs; and a clean environment available for enjoyment by all people.” The group has issued the following statement regarding its agenda: • Our state government must guarantee a fully funded public sector including education, health care, human services, transportation, public safety, and vital regulatory agencies. • Taxes on large corporations and wealthy individuals should be returned to reasonable levels in order to solve the state’s fiscal crisis. • The state must respect the rights of workers to organize unions and bargain collectively. • Initial budget priorities must be established through public participation instead of closed-door meetings between public officials and special-interest lobbyists. • Voting rights must be expanded, not limited, to ensure that every Wisconsinite can take part in our democracy. • Wisconsin deserves government of, by and for the people, not the corporate elite; corporations have no constitutional rights and may not buy our elections or government. Defend Wisconsin A website being used to help organize protests against Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin was temporarily blocked from the Capitol Building in Madison, according to reports. The site, http://www.defendwisconsin.org/, was inaccessible from the building on Monday and into Tuesday morning. Personsattempting to access the internet from a free wifi connection labeled “guest,” you cannot access the site defendwisconsin.org. The site has been used to provide updates on what is happening, where you can volunteer, and where supplies and goods are needed to support protesters. Administrators of the website were notified on Monday that the page is being blocked . Recall the Republican 8 According to state Democratic Chair Mike Tate, citizens across the state have begun recall efforts against “key Republican Senators who have stood with Scott Walker and pushed his partisan power grab that will strip thousands of middle class teachers, nurses, librarians and other workers of their right to collective bargaining. And we learned just last night that their disastrous budget that will cut millions from our schools and universities. In 60 days you can take Wisconsin back by recalling the Republican Senators who have decided to push Scott Walker’s divisive attack on the rights of workers and his assault on schools, universities and local communities. Make no mistake, these Republican Senators are vulnerable to recall f or their radical partisan overreach. “(Fond du Lac Republican) Sen. Randy Hopper won his last election by just 184 votes. And Alberta Darling won her last race by only 1,007. By recalling just three of the eight Senators we are targeting, we can regain control of the Senate. Walker’s Republican allies in the Senate have stood by for days while Walker has refused to negotiate on his partisan power grab disguised as a budget repair bill. Walker and his allies had no intention of listening to the people. That’s why Republicans unplugged the state legislative hotline for the first time in years. Yesterday we saw the Republicans for who they are. A party so indebted to the Koch brothers and big business that they will raise taxes on our poorest families by $41 million dollars and push our schools and communities to the breaking point. Republican Senators have applauded even as Walker proposes to end the state’s decades old recycling program, showing that they will do anything in their power to harm our environment.” There's been much rhetoric put forth concerning the need for "shared sacrifice" and "belt tightening" to meet the state's budget demands. Wisconsin still needs to manage a $3.6 billion deficit in the 2011-2013 budget cycle, but rather than trying to meet that challenge by attacking middle-class workers and by gutting spending the state would be better served by a balanced plan that makes spending cuts where they would be prudent, and raises revenues in ways that reduce inequality and are least damaging to the most vulnerable. True to form, Walker made good on his threats on Mar. 4, noting that he had sent layoff notices to union leaders, and “while these notices start the process needed to layoff state employees, if the Senate Democrats come back to Wisconsin, these notices may be able to be rescinded and layoffs avoided. Without Senate action within 15 days, individual employees may begin to receive potential termination notifications. GOP candidates reaped from the Citizens United ruling, which cleared the way for former White House political czar Karl Rove and fellow operatives to spend hundreds of millions on federal and state races. The Republican Governors Association, having collected a $1 million check from billionaire right-wingers Charles and David Koch and smaller contributions from other corporate interests, invested at least $3.4 million in electing Walker. Walker’s debt to the Koch brothers, whose PAC donated $43,000 to his campaign, was highlighted in the governor’s budget repair bill, including a potential no-bid contract on the state’s heating plans. In addition to attacking unions outlined a plan to restructure state government so Walker could sell off power plants in no-bid deals to firms like Koch Industries, while restructuring state health-insurance programs so that tens of thousands of Wisconsinites could be stranded with no access to care. Walker is using thousands of Wisconsin families as pawns in his game of political chess. Instead of working with our employees, he’s threatening workers’ livelihoods and our economy in a continuing effort to extort Democratic legislators to do his bidding. The Wall Street Journal and Politifact found Walker’s claim that Wisconsin is ‘broke’ to be false. Nurses, teachers, firefighters, and other public workers should not be threatened by Walker, who is endangering our state’s reputation and tarnishing our legacy. The governor is using human beings as political pawns – threatening layoffs if his divisive political agenda is not passed on his decried timeline. This is behavior one expects from a playground bully, not the governor of the State of Wisconsin. In a Feb. 13 editorial in The Capital Times, which suggested Walker was acting as a “dictator” argued that the goal of the Walker plan was “destroying public employee unions, which demand fair treatment of workers and hold governors of both parties to account when they seek to undermine public services and public education.” At every level, Walker’s proposal “sows the seeds of political, social and economic instability” adding that “the economic threat may well be the most significant -- especially at a time when Wisconsin needs to create jobs, as opposed to political fights” in the state. Following only a single, 17-hour public hearing before the Joint Finance Committee, members of the Wisconsin Assembly passed the bill following a controversial, hastily-taken vote. Democratic leaders in the Assembly have vowed to sue over the vote, arguing that it failed to follow legislative procedure. The powerful magnates who ruled Wisconsin’s Republican Party today have been supplanted by a figures from outside the state, most notably the Koch brothers from Kansas and others in Washington pushing a national agenda, aimed at the Midwest, that would scale back union bargaining rights and, in the process, severely weaken the union organizations as political forces, and through that, the Demcratic party. The obstacles are formidable but not insurmountable. The rank-and-file union members who've organized themselves to come to Madison for protests several times since February 15 can certainly organize in their workplaces to show a union presence on the job, from union buttons and T-shirts to The 14 Senate Democrats have been absent, thereby stalling the ability of the Senate to reach a quorum needed to approve Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill, which would revoke the collective bargaining rights of public employees in Wisconsin. The unions have promised to make the concessions Walker says are needed to balance the budget, but Walker and Fitzgerald are refusing to compromise. The battle in Wisconsin – as well as in states such as Indiana and Ohio – has prompted unions and their backers in a number of states to organize rallies in support in states across the nation, and particularly in the Midwest. But because of its historical traditions (the birthplace of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME, in 1932 and long-time progressive sympathies, the Badger State is seen as by far the most important battleground. The logic is not hard to follow: if the unions can be beaten here, they might well be beaten throughout the Midwest, and perhaps the nation. The Walker plan has brought into the public arena a long-time, but largely unstated, conservative dream of reducing the power of public employee union. Most observers believe the current dispute will influence the 2012 Republican nominating process. Meanwhile, in our neighboring state to the south, 14 Democratic Senators remain in hiding, hiding in Illinois in order to avoid possible arrest here. Depending on which side of the public debate one is on, they are either on the lam, refusing to do their jobs, or are elected officials making a truly defensible and noble sacrifice in large part, because there is no practical alternative. Gov. Walker’s plan would eliminate virtually all public sector union collective bargaining, other than those over wage increases (with even that limited to increases in inflation. Critics of the Walker plan have argued that excessively generous pay and benefits negotiated by unions for state and local employees are not the primary reason for the state’s burgeoning deficit, but rather that the deficit has grown because the Great Recession. The standoff also has mobilized labor and the left on a national scale, with numerous rallies being held across the country in support of Wisconsin workers. A Rasmussen survey of Wisconsin voters shows that just 39% favor weakening collective bargaining rights and 52% are opposed. At the same time, 44% support a 10% pay cut for all state workers. Thirty-eight percent (38%) are opposed. That’s partly because 27% of Wisconsin voters believe state workers are paid too much and 16% believe they are paid too little. In addition to curtailing collective bargaining for public employees, the Walker proposal would require public employees to cover 12.6 percent of their health insurance costs and contribute 5.8 percent of their pay toward their pensions. The bill would also end the automatic deduction of union dues from workers' paychecks, potentially crippling unions financially. Unions would also have to re-certify their status as a bargaining unit each year, opening the way for the state to withdraw recognition from unions over time State Sen. Dale Schultz, elected to the Assembly in 1982 and the Senate in 1991, had offered a compromise amendment that would reinstate full collective bargaining rights in 2013, but so far, Walker has shown no interest in a compromise. With the absence of the Senate's 14 minority Democrats, who presumably would be members of the Senate most likely to support the amendment, Schultz said recently that there was no point in pursuing it. Walker, elected on Nov. 3 by a 52-46 margin over Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett with considerable support from Wisconsin Tea Party activists, has contended Wisconsin’s deficit, estimated at $136.7 million for the current state fiscal year, and $3.6 billion for the 2011-13 state biennium, means that the state can no longer afford to provide the level of salaries and benefits that state employees have had in past years. Similar arguments have been made regarding employees of local governments, including school districts, counties and municipalities. Walker has argued that removing most collective bargaining rights for these employees represents the “tools” these governments need to contend with the loss of an estimated $1 billion in state aids, as set forth in his March 1 state budget address. Local officials, in response, have claimed that they did not request the changes in collective bargaining that Walker is seeking, and some have gone on record in opposition to the plan. Many who side with the governor regard public employees in general as a sort of privileged, and resented, caste, a feeling intensified by the difficulties of a long, and difficult recession. In a now-infamous prank call, Walker, believing he was talking by telephone with billionaire supporter David Koch, likened his tough stance against the state unions to President Ronald Reagan's firing of the striking air traffic controllers in 1981. Reagan's action encouraged many private-sector employers to take on unions and break strikes by hiring permanent replacements, actions that industry had tended to shy away from over the previous several decades The principal long-term result of Reagan’s action was a sharp and still-continuing decline in work stoppages and a dramatic shift in the employer-labor balance of power Thus far, there has been only one organized public demonstration in support of the Walker plan. On Feb. 19, a contingent of Tea Party activists, estimated at between 1,500 and 2,000, turned out at the Capitol to counter the anti-Walker demonstrations. The group was mostly contained to one side of the Capitol and largely drowned out by the throngs of union activists who continued to chant against the bill. In general, although generally motions ran high whenever pro-union demonstrators encountered the right-wingers, the demonstrations were peaceful. Gov. Walker’s claim has been that the state is "broke," there is nothing to negotiate and the only solution is to mandate massive reductions in public employee compensation and to abolish their collective bargaining rights. Walker also has been accused by some of “ginning up” the state budget crisis by deliberately misrepresenting the state’s fiscal condition in an effort to promote his plans. Walker’s budget repair bill comes less than a month after the state's fiscal bureau, the Wisconsin equivalent of the Congressional Budget Office, concluded that Wisconsin isn't even in need of austerity measures, and could conclude the fiscal year with a surplus. In fact, they say that the current budget shortfall is a direct result of tax cut policies Walker enacted in his first days in office. According to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, "more than half" of the new shortfall comes from three of Walker's initiatives: $25 million for an economic development fund for job creation, which still holds $73 million because of anemic job growth; $48 million for private health savings accounts; and $67 million for a tax incentive plan that benefits employers, but at levels too low to spur hiring. In a Nov. 10 press release, issued one week after the election, Walker estimated that the state’s deficit was then $2.7 billion, adding that “no idea” for addressing the deficit is “off the table.” Walker also asked state employees, as well as citizens, to offer his transition office suggestions for saving money. “Balancing our state’s $2.7 billion budget deficit will require all Wisconsinites to work together on ideas for reforming state government and saving money,” Walker said. “No idea is off the table. I encourage all citizens and state employees in particular to offer their thoughts.” Walker is using the relatively modest fiscal strain facing Wisconsin as a pretext to roll back basic worker rights and undermine public employee unions as a political force. Moreover, beyond this indefensible demonization of public employees as the primary cause of the state's budgetary shortfall, Walker's plan makes no macroeconomic sense. When the plan was introduced, moderate Republican Sen. Luther Olsen ( R-Ripon), who has served for years on the Assembly Education Committee, expressed concern: "The concept is pretty radical,” Olsen says of the Walker proposal. “It affects a lot of good working people." Even Scott Fitzgerald conceded that his members has a lot of "good questions" for Walker's staff. Although Walker’s plan has support within the state’s business community, some business leaders have come out against it. In a Feb. 18 statement, Jennifer Alexander, president of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, said that while the Chamber supports effort to develop policies to address the state budget deficit and to improve job creation in a sluggish economy, “that support ends at the adversarial way elected officials are approaching it. Public policy issues of this magnitude should not be rushed through the legislative process. Given this state's long history of collective bargaining, policy changes of this magnitude should be thoroughly debated for an adequate period of time, in good faith by both sides, with all potential consequences considered. Currently, that is not happening.” The bill would also force an estimated 65,000 people off the Medicaid rolls and scale back BadgerCare, the health care program for low-income children. The budget repair bill contains a provision would give the Department of Health Services the ability to rewrite Medicaid policy with virtually no input from the Legislature or the public. Decisions made by an unelected state official could supersede state statutes relating to Medicaid services for more than 1.1 million Wisconsin residents, including the elderly, people with disabilities, and working families. The changes could affect policies such as eligibility, premiums, and services. The budget adjustment bill delegates broad, unprecedented powers to the Department of Health Services to make changes relating to Medicaid and BadgerCare Plus eligibility, services, cost-sharing, enrollment procedures, and provider reimbursement. Those policy choices, now the responsibility of state legislators and the Governor, would be handed over to an unelected official, the DHS Secretary, who could make the decisions behind closed doors. Under the bill, the legislative responsibilities being delegated to DHS could be exercised by the agency by rulemaking, including emergency rule. In contrast to current law, which sets short time frames for emergency rules, these rules could remain in effect until 2015. Concerns about the extraordinary powers being granted to an administrative agency, a clear violation of separation of powers, have been raised by many advocacy groups. Those concerns are echoed by the words of the attorney in the nonpartisan Legislative Reference Bureau who drafted the Medicaid provisions. The drafter's note for the bill warns that “the request would allow DHS to change any Medical Assistance law, for any reason, at any time, and potentially without notice or public hearing.” The latest version of the bill does not remedy any of those problems. In addition, Walker’s budget repair bill also could jeopardize an estimated $46.6 million in mass transit funding because of federal requirements that mass transit systems have collective bargaining protections to transit workers. As noted by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the state received $73.9 million in federal transit funding in 2010. Approximately $22.5 million of this funding was for the Milwaukee urbanized area. Other nonspecific funds may also go to Milwaukee urbanized area. In addition, in 2010, shared-ride tax systems received $4.8 million in federal transit aid. Therefore, $27.3 million in the state's federal transit aid would not likely be affected by the changes in (the budget repair bill). However, the remaining $46.6 million to Tier A-1, Tier B, and Tier C bus systems could potentially be withheld from state transit systems under the federal 13(c) provisions as a result of the changes to municipal collective bargaining under (the bill), unless further actions are taken. Most bus transit systems in Wisconsin are staffed by unionized transit workers. In addition, a few of the Tier C shared-ride taxi systems may involve unionized workers. According to information from the U.S. Department of Labor, the proposed changes in collective bargaining rights included under (the budget repair bill) could impact the ability of unionized transit systems in the state to receive existing federal transit aid, unless actions are taken to protect the collective bargaining rights of their employees. If the federal Department of Labor makes the determination that the changes in local transit worker collective bargaining rights resulting from the collective bargaining changes under (the budget repair bill) affect the continuation of collective bargaining rights, and protection of transit employees' wages, working conditions, pension benefits, seniority, vacation, sick and personal leave, travel passes, and other conditions of employment, the Federal Transit Authority could not provide federal transit funding under these provision.