Wisconsin Senate Passes Bill to Limit Bargaining
by MONICA DAVEY (NewYork Times)
“The bitter political standoff in Wisconsin over Gov.Scott Walker’s bid to sharply curtail collective bargaining for public-sector workers ended abruptly Wednesday night, as his Republican counterparts in the State Senate successfully maneuvered to adopt a bill doing just that.
“After a three-week stalemate, Republican senators pushed the measure through in less than half an hour, as Democrats complained bitterly and protesters, who had spent many days at the Capitol, continued their chants and jeers.
“The Republicans control the State Senate but had been blocked from voting on the issue after Senate Democrats left the state last month to prevent a quorum. Instead, they used a procedural maneuver to force the collective bargaining measure through: they removed elements of Governor Walker’s bill that were technically related to appropriating funds, thus removing a requirement that 20 senators be present for a vote. In the end, the Senate’s 19 Republicans approved the measure, 18-1, without any debate on the floor or a single Democrat in the room.
“The remaining bill, which increases health care and pension costs and cuts collective bargaining rights for most public workers in the state, still needs approval from the State Assembly on Thursday morning, but that chamber has already once approved the measure, and most in Wisconsin now considered approval a foregone conclusion.”
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