MADISON, Wis. — Republicans pushed a provision stripping public employees of their collective bargaining rights through the state Senate Wednesday evening after finding a way to bypass the chamber's missing Democrats.Read the rest here.
Republican senators separated the provision from Gov. Scott Walker's controversial budget bill, removing the requirement that 20 senators be present for a vote on the anti-union measure.
The vote in the Senate was 18-1. Sen. Dale Schultz was the sole no vote. No Democrats were present.
Spectators in the gallery screamed at the Republicans on the floor, "You are cowards."
All 14 Democrats had left the state for Illinois nearly three weeks ago to prevent passage of the overall budget bill, because it contained the anti-union measure.
The Senate is split 19-14 with Republicans in the majority. Because the union provision was part of a budget bill, Republicans in the Senate needed at least 20 senators present for a quorum.
By separating out the anti-union measure, Republicans did not need 20 senators to allow a vote on that piece.