Friday, February 25, 2011
MADISON, Wisconsin (Reuters) – The Wisconsin state Assembly on Friday passed a Republican plan to curb public sector union power over the fierce objections of protesters, setting the stage for a showdown with Senate Democrats who fled the state last week to prevent a vote in that chamber.
After two all-night debating sessions and an eleventh hour Democratic bid for a compromise, the Republican-dominated Assembly abruptly ended all debate early Friday morning and approved the bill by a vote of 51 to 17.
The outcome of the vote, which was taken so fast many Democratic lawmakers who were outside the chamber when it was called were unable to participate, was greeted by chants of “it’s not over yet” and “we are here to stay” from more than a thousand protesters who stayed to watch in the capitol rotunda overnight.
Tens of thousands of demonstrators, from inside and outside the state, have converged on Madison in recent days to fight the proposal, which they fear could encourage similar measures in other states and cripple the American labor movement.
This article was posted: Friday, February 25, 2011 at 8:53 am