Unions To Hold Preemptive Jazz Funeral in Madison for Welfare Programs

From In These Times: http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/7020/unions_to_hold_jazz_funeral_in_madison_to_protest_walkers_budget/

Mar 3, 2011

By Lindsay Beyerstein

Wis. Gov. Walker would slash funding for Medicaid, but boost funding for program that buries destitute Wisconsinites

A coaltion of public- and private-sector unions is holding a jazz funeral for the welfare state in Wisconsin. A New Orleans-style funeral procession, complete with jazz band, will depart from the Library Mall at five o’clock on Thursday and wend its way to the Capitol.

On Tuesday, Republican Gov. Scott Walker unveiled a budget that calls for deep cuts in nearly every area of government spending, including healthcare, education, and environmental protection.

Jean Ross, a nurse and co-president of National Nurses United plans to attend today’s march. “There’s some grieving to be done for what Walker’s trying to do,” Ross told Working In These Times. The march is endorsed by National Nurses United, Madison Teachers Incorporated, the Kill the Bill Coalition, and a host of other public and private sector labor groups.

Gov. Walker wants to slash $500 million from Medicaid over the next two years. Medicaid is the joint federal-state health insurance program for the poor which covers 1.2 million Wisconsinites, or, one out of every five residents.

Ross says that the budget is a power grab. Walker sparked furious and ongoing with his earlier “budget repair” bill that called for the elimination of most collective bargaining rights for public employees. Fourteen Democratic state senators have fled to Illinois to deny the Republican majority the quorum it needs to pass the bill.

Continue reading at:  http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/7020/unions_to_hold_jazz_funeral_in_madison_to_protest_walkers_budget/

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