Gov. Walker Threatens 12K Layoffs

And police threaten to kick out Capitol protesters

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 26, 2011 7:54 AM CST

(Newser) – Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker dug in his heels even further yesterday, threatening to trigger as many as 12,000 layoffs starting next week if his controversial budget bill is not passed. Walker is still determined not to compromise on the portion of his bill that strips public employees of many collective bargaining rights, the Washington Post reports. "If we want to avoid the layoffs that will eventually come at the state and local level, the only way to achieve that" is to pass the bill, the governor said. Democratic state senators are still outside the state, delaying a vote.

Meanwhile, protesters at the state capitol may not have a place to sleep for much longer. Police officers distributed fliers yesterday warning that access to the Capitol building would be restricted, and that they will start collecting sleeping bags and other belongings in order to return the building to normal business hours tomorrow night, USA Today reports. Some protesters—many of whom have been sleeping inside the Capitol building for eight days—have no plans to leave, and say police will have to carry them out. Click for the latest on the Wisconsin protests, including teachers who have already received layoff notices.

Opponents of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's budget bill sleep in the rotunda of the Wisconsin State Capitol Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011.
Opponents of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's budget bill sleep in the rotunda of the Wisconsin State Capitol Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011.   (AP Photo/Wisconsin State Journal, John Hart)
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker walks into a press conference at the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., Friday, Feb. 25, 2011.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker walks into a press conference at the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., Friday, Feb. 25, 2011.   (AP Photo/Andy Manis)
Protesters swarmed the West Gallery after Assembly Republicans gave the budget repair bill its third reading in the state Assembly at the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., Thursday evening, Feb. 24, 2011.
Protesters swarmed the West Gallery after Assembly Republicans gave the budget repair bill its third reading in the state Assembly at the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., Thursday evening, Feb. 24, 2011.   (AP Photo/Wisconsin State Journal, M.P. King)
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