Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker let it slip that, at least in his opinion, the Donald Trump administration might be considering taking Walker’s signature “Act 10” reform national.
Act 10 sharply limited public sector unions in Wisconsin. It sparked massive protests at Wisconsin’s state Capitol, and led to an unsuccessful recall of the Wisconsin governor that he built into a national reputation and failed presidential run.
Here’s what Walker said after a meeting with Vice President Mike Pence, according to Theo Keith, a reporter with Fox 6 Milwaukee:
Yeah, it’s something they’re interested in. The vice president has brought it up before. Newt Gingrich, former speaker Gingrich, has brought it up multiple times, others have. It’s certainly something we’re willing to offer our assistance on particularly if it helps improve not just the nation but helps the ability to be better stewards of the taxpayers’ dollars here in Wisconsin.
The Appleton Post-Crescent newspaper in Wisconsin reported that Walker also said he spoke with Pence about “what we’ve done here in Wisconsin, how they may take bits and pieces of what we did with Act 10 and with civil service reform, and how they could apply that at the national level” for federal employees.
You can watch video of Walker’s comments, which were made to the Wisconsin news media, here.
According to the Appleton newspaper, “Most federal employees don’t have collective bargaining rights over pay and benefits, but they can negotiate over workplace safety and other terms and conditions of employment” and such a move by Trump would likely spark massive conflict between the new president and labor unions.
Channel 12 Milwaukee reported that Act 10 limited public sector unions’ ability to collective bargain and “made state workers pay more for pensions and health care as well as weakened the unions that represented state workers.”
Whether Act 10 helped Wisconsin or hurt it is a very divisive question that often falls down partisan lines. Of course, an ally of Walker, Reince Priebus, is now Trump’s chief of staff. Priebus is the former executive director of the Wisconsin Republian Party.