Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wisconsin's First Step Toward Fiscal Sanity - Cuts Union Collective Bargaining Privilege

Winning one for FDR. Unions with collective bargaining rights have no place in government.

The Wisconsin Senate succeeded in voting Wednesday to strip nearly all collective bargaining rights from public workers, after Republicans outmaneuvered the chamber's missing Democrats and approved an explosive proposal that has rocked the state and unions nationwide.

"You are cowards!" spectators in the Senate gallery screamed as lawmakers voted. Within hours, a crowd of a few hundred protesters inside the Capitol had grown to an estimated 7,000, more than had been in the building at any point during weeks of protests.

"The whole world is watching!" they shouted as they pressed up against the heavily guarded entrance to the Senate chamber.

All 14 Senate Democrats fled to Illinois nearly three weeks ago, preventing the chamber from having enough members present to consider Gov. Scott Walker's "budget-repair bill" - a proposal introduced to plug a $137 million budget shortfall.

The Senate requires a quorum to take up any measure that spends money. But Republicans on Wednesday took all the spending measures out of Walker's proposal and a special committee of lawmakers from both the Senate and Assembly approved the revised bill a short time later.

The unexpected yet surprisingly simple procedural move ended a stalemate that had threatened to drag on indefinitely. Until Wednesday's stunning vote, it appeared the standoff would persist until Democrats returned to Madison from their self-imposed exile

Read full AP article here.

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