Early Friday morning, after three days of a Democratic filibusterer, Wisconsin State Assembly voted and passed the bill stripping union public workers of their collective bargaining rights. The bill still has to be approved in the state’s Senate, where Senate Democrats have been missing in action for over a week now.
State Assembly Democrats are not happy with how the vote was held. According to reporting from Huffington Post, many Democratic members did not even know the vote was being called. The report states;
After more than 60 hours in which Democrats threw out dozens of amendments and delivered rambling speeches, Republicans halted debate early Friday. In a matter of seconds, they had approved the bill. Only a few Democrats realized what was going on and managed to vote before the roll was closed.
The Democrats rose from their seats and rushed at the Republicans shouting, “Shame!” as the Republicans exited the chamber.
“I’m incensed. I’m shocked,” said Rep. John Richards, D-Milwaukee. “What a terrible, terrible day for Wisconsin.”
Republicans refused to speak to reporters, though Majority Leader Scott Suder, R-Abbotsford, did issue a written statement.
“The vote we took wasn’t the easy thing to do, but it was the right thing to do,” Suder said.
We are witnessing the dismantling of the constitutionally protected first amendment for Wisconsin public employees, where simply having their union representative sit at a negotiating table and speak on their behalf is slowly being taken away.
Read the report here.