March 10th, 2011
06:30 PM ET

Wisconsin Assembly passes bill to curb collective bargaining

Ed Lavandera

Madison, Wisconsin (CNN) - After weeks of demonstrations in the state capital, Wisconsin Republicans cleared a final hurdle to a controversial proposal on Thursday after the state's Assembly passed an amended version of a bill that would curtail the bargaining rights of most state workers.

The vote was 53-42 in favor of the bill.

"I applaud all members of the Assembly for showing up, debating the legislation and participating in democracy," Gov. Scott Walker said in a written statement.

State Senate Republicans had approved the amended version Wednesday night, despite the absence of 14 Democratic senators who fled the state to prevent a necessary quorum of 20 votes.

The amended bill stripped the spending components out of the original proposal, enabling lawmakers to pass the measure with fewer votes.

Cries of "Shame, Shame, Shame!" filled the Capitol building following Thursday's vote. The bill will soon be delivered to Walker's desk, who is expected to sign the bill into law.

Meanwhile, at least one Senate Democrat said he has returned to his home state after spending weeks in Illinois in an effort to prevent the bill's passage.

Sen. Jim Holperin said the remaining 13 absentee Democrats will be returning individually between Thursday and Saturday.

But Democrat Sen. Kathleen Vinehout quickly disputed that assertion, claiming absentee lawmakers have remained in Illinois. She added that she did not know where Holperin was.

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soundoff (One Response)
  1. Pat G

    I am ashamed of what is going on lately in this government. Republicans trying to close down Unions. Obnocious. The way they went about it... obnocious. Other states trying to do likewise ? Its obvious the people do not want this

    March 10, 2011 at 10:59 pm |