The Wisconsin state Assembly early on Friday approved a Republican proposal to strip public sector unions of most collective bargaining rights despite fierce objections from Democrats and labor unions.
The vote sets the stage for a showdown with state Senate Democrats who last week left Wisconsin to prevent a vote in that chamber, which also must approve the measure if it is to go into effect.
After two all-night sessions and a Democratic bid for a compromise, the Republican-dominated Assembly abruptly ended debate early on Friday and approved the bill by a vote of 51 to 17.
Walker has set a deadline of Friday for approval of the measure to give the state time to refinance bonds and make a payment on state debt that is due by March 15. He says the bill is necessary to close a budget deficit of $137 million for this fiscal year and $3.6 billion in the next two years.
For more information: How Collective Bargaining Costs Government