Bill cutting collective bargaining passes in Wisconsin
Republican Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald speaks to reporters following a session of the State Senate at the Wisconsin State Capitol.
March 9th, 2011
07:47 PM ET

Bill cutting collective bargaining passes in Wisconsin

Wisconsin's Republican-led state Senate passed Gov. Scott Walker's proposed restrictions on collective bargaining for public employees Wednesday, getting around a Democratic walkout by stripping financial provisions from the "Budget Repair" bill.

"Tonight, the Senate will be passing the items in the Budget Repair Bill that we can with the 19 members who actually do show up and do their jobs," Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, the chamber's Republican majority leader, said in a statement announcing the move.

Senators were able to move ahead by voting only on the non-financial aspects of Walker's proposed bill, which requires fewer members for a quorum. But the move drew howls of outrage from outside the chamber, where pro-union demonstrators chanted "Shame, shame," as the bill passed.

Are you there? Share photos and video of the protests, or your views on the issue with the CNN iReport community.

- CNN's Ed Lavandera contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Politics • Wisconsin
soundoff (717 Responses)
  1. smc

    Time to impeach these Republicans for their criminal actions in how they passed this bill, including the governor as a knowing accomplice. Federal intervention may be necessary to dislodge the dictatorship that has taken over Wisconsin.

    March 9, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. mike l

    i love it we need more of this in our country. the days of the need for unions are long gone. all there people are over paid and are living off the working man that makes peanuts compared to them. its like this if you dont like how much you get paid in find another job

    March 9, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kris

      Another inane response. Another person who doesn't pay attention. TO REPEAT: THE UNION AGREED TO PAY MORE FOR THEIR BENEFITS. THE UNION AGREED TO PAY MORE FOR THEIR BENEFITS. Repeat it to yourself, then understand that unlike you, who can be fired just because your supervisor doesn't like your tie, that unions protect workers from stupid idiots like that.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ray Taylor

    God Bless you Scott Walker!!!
    Finally a politician who is brave enough to stand up for the Wisconsin people against unions that are useless and greedy!!!

    March 9, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kris

      Considering that more than half of likely Wisconsin voters were completely against what they just did, you are wrong.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Bold statement Kris seeing how it was well atleast 57% of Wisconsin Voters that put him in office, knowing that he wanted to fix the state.

      March 9, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Non-Republican

    It appears that many on this site dont understand how representative government works. Maybe our poor school system is to blame.

    March 9, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Gimme My Discount

    On top of everything else (higher wages, pensions, healthcare, credit unions) for some mysterious reason Federal government workers need discount at hotels...even when they are on vacation.

    Gimme My Discount!

    March 9, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. WisconsinBadger

    Make no mistake about it! There is an organized movement against organized labor-the Republicans are looking after the financial interests of the wealthiest individuals in this country`Edward Kennedy

    March 9, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bill

    I have voted Democrat my whole life. The last several years, I would say I'm not left or right, but center. I'm a social liberal, but a fiscal conservative. I support Governor Walker and his agenda to reign in government spending.
    In the last ten years, my property taxes have doubled. My wages have not, and the value of my home certainly has not. It has to stop! It’s nice to have a Governor that has a pair.

    March 9, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Bill, this was passed as a non-fiscal item. IT WAS NOT ABOUT SPENDING. You are being LIED to. If you continue to repeat what you wrote above, after reading this, you are a liar also.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kris

      Bill, I like you an a fiscal conservative who believes the budget should be balanced. But 1) This bill voted on today did nothing to that end, 2) It is completely voided by the corporate tax reductions that are coming, and 3) Won't reduce your property taxes or raise the value of your already overpriced home. The right course of action would have been to compromise on collective bargaining, where you could then negotiate the need to freeze wages.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jula

      Then why don't you form/join a union and collectively bargain with your (I'm assuming) private-sector employer for better wages. How is it the government's fault that your greedy corporate boss doesn't want to pay you what you're worth?

      March 9, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  8. MXB

    Now you know what "TEA" party stands for. "Take Everything Away" party. Yep, they are taking and stripping everything the middle class citizens of this country worked hard to achieve. They will allow the rich and greedy to do what ever their little hearts desire. When you are making a dollar an hour and your children are working 10 to 12 hours a day in a sweat shop for a little of nothing, remember, you voted for and supported the "Take Everything Away" party.

    March 9, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Tommy Jefferson

    Get a real job? Teachers are probably the most important jobs in the country. As soon as we realize this we will all be better off

    March 9, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Upset

    Why is no one mentioning the planned changes to Medicaid? To mental health treatments? The sale of our power systems to private enterprise with no bidding (so we have to pay whatever they tell us)? This bill is about so much more than the unions--they have kept everyone focused on that, and slipped it to us while our backs were turned!! Shame, shame, shame. Wisconsin was not perfect, but at least we took care of our we just dumped on the poorest, sickest and oldest of us all....who's gonna help you when that 150% energy hike goes into effect???? Or your disabled mother can't get any help to get into a nursing home????? Or your new baby, with autism, can't get any help with treatment because your insurance won't cover it????

    March 9, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |

    These republicans are just making good on their election promises. The majority of the public voted for them hence they were elected. Thus this is the will of the majority of the state of Wisconsin. How refreshing that politicians are making good on what they promised!!! I applaud them to do whatever it takes to get the state back on track even if it means some folks get a little ticked off. Thats the problem with this country everyone is so worried about offending people...
    If the affected are so bothered by this they can just change carreers or move.......just like the private sector does during times of cutbacks and tough times. NOBODY IS FORCING THESE PEOPLE TO DO THESE JOBS its their choice!!!

    March 9, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kris

      *sigh* How many times do people need to be reminded that this was not about the request to pay more for benefits. And this bill passed today proves it. It has been shown that Gov Walker is lying when he claims that he promised before being elected that he would cut collective bargaining rights. This is not what people voted for, and surveys have shown that the majority of Wisconsin voters were against this portion of the bill.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |

      I am sure the polls were conducted by liberal media

      March 9, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. BeenWaitingforSanity

    I really hope these comments are not illustrative of the public at large. If so, we are truly doomed. As a nation we are so bankrupt thanks to both parties that we should be worried for our children. Instead, our Feds are arguing over cutting small fractions of the deficit and public employee unions in Wisconsin are acting like people have been thrown in the street for being asked to accept slightly better salaries and benefits than their neighbors in the private sector. MY hope is that all of your are the vocal minority and that the people that voted these state govt in did so for a reason.

    March 9, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      It was a low turn-out mid-term election. Most of these Republican voters are die-harders who will vote for ANY Republican no matter what it is they do. If you've been waiting for sanity it's because you haven't been looking very hard.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • BeenWaitingforSanity

      As opposed to Democrat voters who take a hard critical look at their candidate before voting? You're wasting time focusing on parties as they are all to blame. Taking other people's money is never right.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • smc

      Private sector workers make MORE money that their public sector equivalents.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Micky


    March 9, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Your life must truly suck.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kris

      Your life has not changed and you will never benefit from this. All this has done is worsened life for those we depend upon to educate our children. Not to mention that too many parents these days assume that teachers should raise their children for them too.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Socrates


      March 9, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      Yea, you must have a pretty boring complacent life there Micky.

      March 9, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Fiscal Conservative

    I'd just like to point out that this move is incredibly irresponsible from a financial standpoint for the state of Wisconsin, because it will result in a loss of federal subsidies to our state for education and mass transit.

    Yes, Walker's budget is going to be a human tragedy in Wisconsin, but if it, too, passes, it will also be a financial tragedy. His cuts will damage the state's economy because working people in this state will not be able to afford to spend as much. It amounts to a tax increase on the middle class and the poor. This is class warfare, but we didn't start this fight – Walker did.

    This will also decimate our schools, which will damage Wisconsin's economy for generations to come.

    March 9, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • BeenWaitingforSanity

      Sorry sir but you are no fiscal conservative. Taking money from one person and giving it to another does not create jobs or wealth. We don't have the money. At some point its as simple as a family's monthly budget.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. BadgerRed

    Action taken by GOP Senators probably illegal. The mtg requires 24 hr written notice per the open mtg laws of the state. Walker and his stooges always want to do things in a hurry... like less than 2 hr notice on this one.
    Supporters of Walker should not crow to loudly as you might have to eat real crow meat in the next few days.

    March 9, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Micky

      It will stand. The AG will look at it and see that the outcome would have been the same either way. They were given a two hour notice as required because I have been listening to it on talk radio since before 4 saying the meeting was at 6.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
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