Walker to Missing Dems: You Have 24 Hours to Return

Otherwise, 'more painful and aggressive spending cuts'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 28, 2011 12:09 PM CST
Thousands of opponents of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's budget repair bill gather for protests at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin Saturday, February 26, 2011.   (AP Photos/Wisconsin State Journal, John Hart)
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(Newser) – Gov. Scott Walker has a message for the 14 Democrats who fled Wisconsin: Come back by tomorrow and vote on the controversial budget bill, or "the state loses out on the chance to refinance debt, saving taxpayers $165 million this fiscal year," says his rep in a statement today. That would only mean "more painful and aggressive spending cuts in the very near future," the statement continues.

Walker's proposal, which requires public employees to pay more for pensions and health care and also strips their unions of most collective bargaining rights, would restructure Wisconsin's general obligation bonds so that debt service payments currently due March 15 would be pushed into future years. The state needs a couple weeks to prepare and implement the refinancing in advance of the March 15 due date, hence Walker's 24-hour warning, Reuters reports. Click for the latest on Wisconsin, including threatened layoffs. (Read more Wisconsin stories.)

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