Wis. Assembly passes bill taking away union rights
TODD RICHMOND | Associated Press
Feb. 25, 2011
MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The Wisconsin Assembly early Friday passed a bill that would strip most public workers of their collective bargaining rights—the first significant action on the new Republican governor’s plan.
The vote put an end to three straight days of punishing debate, but the political standoff over the bill is far from over. The measure now goes to the Senate, where minority Democrats have been missing for a week, preventing a vote in that chamber.
No one knows when—or if—the Senate Democrats will return from their hideout in Illinois. Republicans who control the chamber sent state troopers out looking for them at their homes on Thursday, but they turned up nothing.
Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal contains a number of provisions he says are designed to fill the state’s $137 million deficit and lay the groundwork for fixing a projected $3.6 billion shortfall in the upcoming 2011-13 budget. The flashpoint is language that would strip almost all public sector workers of their right to collectively bargain benefits and work conditions.