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Wisconsin Senate GOP Votes to Strip State Workers of Collective Bargaining Rights

Bypassing Democrats hiding out in Illinois, Wisconsin Senate Republicans voted Wednesday night to strip state workers of their collective bargaining rights.

Republicans voted 18-1 to pass the stripped-down budget bill in a hastily arranged meeting. None of the Senate Democrats were present.

The state Assembly is expected to vote on the bill Thursday.

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 so-called "budget repair bill" -- a proposal introduced to plug a $137 million budget shortfall..

The Senate requires a quorum to take up any measures that spend money. But Republicans on Wednesday split from the legislation the proposal to curtail union rights, and a special conference committee of state lawmakers approved that bill a short time later.

Wisconsin Senate Democratic leader Mark Miller said Wednesday Democrats will "join the people of Wisconsin in taking back their government," but he refused to say when.

The lone Democrat present on the conference committee, Rep. Tony Barca, shouted that the surprise meeting was a violation of the state's open meetings law but Republicans voted over his objections. The Senate then convened within minutes and passed it without discussion or debate.

Spectators in the gallery screamed "You are cowards."

Before the sudden votes, Democratic Sens. Bob Jauch said if Republicans "chose to ram this bill through in this fashion, it will be to their political peril. They're changing the rules. They will inflame a very frustrated public."

Walker praised the legislative action.

"The Senate Democrats have had three weeks to debate this bill and were offered repeated opportunities to come home, which they refused," he said in a statement.

"In order to move the state forward, I applaud the Legislature's action today to stand up to the status quo and take a step in the right direction to balance the budget and reform the government," he said. "The action today will help ensure Wisconsin has a business climate that allows the private sector to create 250,000 new jobs."

State Senate Democratic Minority Leader Mark Miller issued a statement saying, "Tomorrow we will join the people of Wisconsin in taking back their government."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
 

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The cowards were in Illinois.

The Milwaukee school board stripped the viagra provision from the health care benefits last year saving the school district $800,000. The union sued but dropped it. Looks like it was time to stop the bleeding at the state level also.
 

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If we could get all the Dems in Washington to head to Illinois now to join their brothers in hiding, we would all be better off!!! :D
 

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Did anyone see Harry Reid's opposition to spending cuts on the Senate floor? He said cutting the federal budget would keep ten thousand people from attending the annual cowboy poetry festival in Nevada. That is the kind of crap we get from Washington. Its the same type of crap that led to deficits in states. And the people keep electing bozo's like this.
 

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Now the lawsuits will follow and they will shop it to a judge who will order an injunction and the people of Wisconsin will probably end up paying double and not gain a thing.
I hope it works out different but I have my doubts.
 
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