Democracy in peril

For Immediate Release

February 15, 2011

For more information:

Peter Rickman, 920-284-4710

Joint Finance Committee is Cutting Off Speakers on Budget Repair Bill

Citizens of Wisconsin are demanding the right to have their voice heard in the Joint Finance committee hearing on SB-11

Members of the Joint Finance Committee need to do their jobs and listen to the citizens of Wisconsin. At 9:10 p.m., the committee announced it is no longer signing up people to speak. What’s more, they have said the hearing will not resume tomorrow. This is an affront to democracy. A hundred protestors are upstairs in the Capitol chanting “let us speak.”

We demand to be heard. This is an essential tool of our democracy.

Thus far, about 250 people have spoken before the committee and about 550 more registered. An unofficial estimate from a clerk suggested that about 800 of the registered speakers were against the bill, and only 20 supported it. At the time the stoppage, people who had registered at 2 p.m. were being heard.