Wisconsin Assembly Passes Anti-Union Bill

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Republicans in the Wisconsin State Assembly approved a bill Friday morning that would strip most public workers of union bargaining rights.

The controversial bill, abruptly passed before sleep-deprived Democrats knew what was happening, sparked mass protests in the state capitol, capturing the nation's attention.

"What a terrible, terrible day for Wisconsin," said Rep. Jon Richards, D-Milwaukee. "I am incensed. I am shocked."
Democrats in the assembly had blocked the vote by dragging the session out for three days with a filibuster.

The controversial bill now goes to the Wisconsin Senate, but the political standoff over the measure appears to be far from over. Even with the state's budget crisis looming, it's unclear when lawmakers in that chamber will take action since Senate Democrats have fled the state to prevent a vote.

"I applaud the Democrats in the Assembly for earnestly debating this bill and urge their counterparts in the state Senate to return to work and do the same," Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald, R-Horicon, said in a statement issued moments after the vote.

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