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Photo of Senator Gary Winfield.


Gary Winfield

A Passion For Progress

Standing Up For Our Nurses, Teachers and Firefighters

Last Friday, we heard public testimony on 96 bills before the Appropriations Committee, all of which concern state employee pay and benefits.

The vast majority of these bills, proposed primarily by Republican legislators, attack rights for teachers, firefighters and other public sector employees.

Video of Senator Winfield.

I joined my House colleagues at a press conference last week to stand up for workers.

Here’s what I said:

"I think we come to this building to make people's lives better. The 96 bills we see on the agenda of the Appropriations Committee this morning, I don't believe do that. We've rhetorically turned our state workers into the enemy. We have decided that this is a conversation about takers versus makers, that this is a conversation about the union versus the taxpayers, that this is a conversation about us versus them.

"The reality is, that them is us, that them, they pay taxes. They do all of the things that anybody else in this state that makes up the rest of the tax base do. What we are standing here saying is that we came to this building for a reason; it's to make people's lives better. And if we believe that state workers have something that other people don't have, then the solution to that is not taking it away from state workers, but it's to figure out how we give those things to other people."

The deadline for appropriations committee action on all bills is April 27.