Wisconsin GOP bypasses Dems, cuts collective bargaining rights

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — 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 several thousand, 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 measures that spends money. But Republicans on Wednesday took all the spending measures out of the legislation 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.

“In 30 minutes, 18 state senators undid 50 years of civil rights in Wisconsin. Their disrespect for the people of Wisconsin and their rights is an outrage that will never be forgotten,” said Democratic Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller. “Tonight, 18 Senate Republicans conspired to take government away from the people.”

The state Assembly previously approved the original proposal and was set to consider the new measure on Thursday. Miller said in an interview with The Associated Press there is nothing Democrats can do now to stop the bill: “It’s a done deal.”

Associated Press

7 thoughts on “Wisconsin GOP bypasses Dems, cuts collective bargaining rights

  1. Unions are what contributed so much to the creation of the middle class in America,providing better wages and benefits to their members.This in turn provided more disposable income to workers who purchased goods and services which profited big business.Ford is a good example of this,as the company made the automobile affordable to Americans and stimulated the growth of related enterprises! Contracts are negotiated by two parties who come to a meeting of the minds in good faith and it should never be that such legally binding agreements are viewed as “disposable” when convenience dictates! That seems to be the road the U.S.P.S.is on.Just a short while ago the claim was made that if the U.S.P.S. were allowed a refund on their retirement contributions they could solve their financial problems,only to be proven wrong by an O.P.M. audit! Management wants nothing more than a financial emergency declared, the contract suspended and the unions dissolved as we see is the case in Wisconsin. This they claim will rid them of the burden of paying a union wage and make them financially stable.Just like their assertion about the funding of benefits to C.S.R.S. and F.E.R.S. this needs to be scrutinized by O.P.M. If not we all face the prospect of loosing hard won benefits just like workers in Wisconsin!


    These freaks have nothing to do with REALITY….they don’t work for the USPS…they don’t speak for ANYONE BUT THE BAGGERS and their warped CONSERVATIVE MEGA BUCK CORPORATE MASTERS(Koch Brothers for example)….the only thing these freaks are good at is trolling around the internet looking for THREADS ON VARIOUS WEB SITES to leave their “DUNG NUGGETS” of CONSERVATIVE HORSE SHIT.

  3. because of union contract binding agreements hard working americans can at least have decent wages, medical care, retirement benefits, and maybe be able to send their kids to college.

  4. about time..sounds like you’re a mental cripple.you must be an inbred southerner.go plow the lower 40 boy!

  5. you’re absolutely right jimmy,but you know what?i work with a few of these idiots.more concerned about ‘american idol”,”dancing with the stars than about their own livelihood. see what 20 years of reagan,bush1 and bush2″ did to this country, this is exactly what they wanted to do and the did it.dumbing of america.

  6. This is a great step forward! It is about time to get rid of all the ridiculous entitlements that the Unions have. All unions should be dismantled. All they want is to do less work for more money and benefits. The unions are what is crippling America.

  7. Any average American that still votes Republikkkan is truly a stupid f**king idiot.

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