The Wisconsin state Senate yesterday voted 18-1 to strip the state’s public workers of their collective bargaining rights. The bill now goes to the state House where it is expected to be passed.
The Senate voted on a substitute to the original “budget repair” bill. The substitute deleted all references to budget cuts but retained provisions that deprive public workers of their collective bargaining rights. Because the substitute did not contain any language about the budget, it did not require the three-fifths majority required by the orginal bill.
Senate Democrats had walked out of the Senate two weeks ago to prevent a vote on the original bill and went to Illinois vowing not to return until the anti-worker provisions in the original bill were eliminated. They had been in negotiaions with Republican Senators on a compromise that would have allowed public workers to retain their collective bargaining rights. The substitute bill voted on Wednesday came from Wisconsin Gov Scott Walker.
Efforts are underway to recall eight Republican senators whose terms in office are subject to recall. Rallies and demonstrations across Wisconsin will take place today.