Feb 25 2011

LA Times: Wisconsin Assembly approves controversial collective-bargaining measure

Newswire | Published 25 Feb 2011, 10:46 am | Comments Off on LA Times: Wisconsin Assembly approves controversial collective-bargaining measure -

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The Wisconsin Assembly early Friday approved a measure to strip most government workers of collective-bargaining rights, but the measure’s fate remains in limbo with Democrats still out of state to prevent a vote in the state Senate.

Shortly after 1 a.m., Assembly Republicans, who control the lower chamber, abruptly cut off debate after 60 solid hours of discussion and approved the bill, 51-17. The tally was taken so quickly that most Democrats didn’t have a chance to vote.

Democratic legislators screamed at Republicans as the majority party silently filed out of the chamber under police protection and left the Capitol, where demonstrators were staying overnight for the second week to register their objection to the bill.

Gov. Scott Walker has warned that if his budget bill does not pass by Friday, he will have to lay off 1,500 workers because the state will miss a deadline to save $165 million by refinancing its debt. State troopers were dispatched Thursday morning to the homes of some of the 14 Senate Democrats in hopes of persuading at least one to return to the Capitol, but none were found.

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