Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is a “would be dictator” who is bent on overturning a century of labor-rights, charged Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, D-Bronx (with a h/t to Liz for having this first).
Dinowitz, in a release, said he was appalled by Walker’s attempts to strip collective bargaining rights from state employee unions. Walker, a Republican, also wants to do away with a portion of workers’ pay checks automatically being deducted for union dues.
The proposals have led to days of public protest in the Wisconsin capital of Madison and a parade of national headlines. The protests have also sparked a debate about the role of public-employee unions, management-labor relations and government spending.
In an interview, Dinowitz said he couldn’t imagine such a scenario playing out in New York. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is seeking $450 million in concessions from public workers. If Cuomo and the unions fail to agree to terms, the state may layoff up to 9,800 people. As the Times Union reported today, those negotiations are stuck in neutral.
Still, Dinowitz said New York’s case is different.
“I don’t think Gov. Cuomo has proposed anything remotely resembling that,” Dinowitz said. “The cost of employee pensions have been raised and it’s certainly a legitimate issue to talk about, but to suggest that therefore public employees should not have collective bargaining rights is a whole other thing.”
He also said he strongly favors keeping the s0-called millionaires tax in place or at least raising the threshold above the current $200,000 range. The tax is due to expire this year and Cuomo supports allowing it to sunset.
“It doesn’t make sense to give away that significant source of revenue,” he said. “I don’t like saying you have to pay more money, but I know people who are doing their share.”