Reid sides with public employees

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., Tuesday sided with public employees in Wisconsin saying the governor of that state was going too far in trying to deny unions the right to collective bargaining.

"The public employees have agreed to give back some of their fringe benefits, enough to cover the deficit," he said.

Reid said in a press conference after his speech to the Nevada Legislature that Gov. Scott Walker should take that offer rather than pushing to eliminate collective bargaining, which Reid said goes too far.

"He wants to punish public employees by taking their right to bargain," said Reid.

Members from more than a dozen Nevada unions joined state workers in Carson City and Las Vegas on Monday to rally in support of Wisconsin's public employees and to protest Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval's budget attempting to cut state worker pay and benefits. While just 150 showed up in front of the legislative building in Carson City, the Las Vegas protest reportedly drew more than 1,200.

There also was a counter rally by conservatives in front of the Nevada State Capitol.

Carol Howell of the Carson Republican Party said it wasn't their intention to oppose unions. She said they were there to back the fiscally conservative budget plan presented to Nevada lawmakers by Sandoval.

"I just don't want anyone in the unions to think we were out there protesting them," she said. "That was not the intent."

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