Wisconsin Senate Passes Anti-Union Bill

Republicans in the Wisconsin Senate voted today to strip nearly all collective bargaining rights from public workers after discovering a way to bypass the chamber's missing Democrats.

The measure now goes to the Assembly, which is expected to approve it tomorrow. The Senate requires a quorum to take up any measures that spend money, but Republicans today rewrote the bill, removing all the parts that spent money. That allowed them to pass it with a simple majority present.

Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker's bill to end collective bargaining for public employees passed the state senate on Wednesday. In reaction, Wisconsin high school students are planning a nationwide walkout in order to send a unified message in support of public education.

All 14 Democrats in the state Senate fled to Illinois to keep the measure from getting to the Senate floor, but the Republican-controlled Legislature passed a modified bill this week after finding a parliamentary way to get around the boycott.

Larson called Walker's push to have the bill passed a "power grab."

“I think it's unfortunate that Walker continues to ignore the will of the people of Wisconsin," Larson said in a telephone interview. "I think it's going to come back to bite him."