Earlier today Channel 3000 reported:
MADISON, Wis. — Republicans in charge of the Wisconsin Senate have apparently discovered a way to strip nearly all collective bargaining rights from public workers, bypassing Democrats.All 14 Senate Democrats left the state nearly three weeks ago, preventing the chamber from having enough members present to consider Gov. Scott Walker’s so-called “budget repair bill” — a proposal introduced to plug a $137 million budget shortfall.The Senate requires a quorum to take up any measures that spend money.But Republicans on Wednesday split from the legislation the proposal to curtail union rights, and a special conference committee of state lawmakers approved that bill a short time later.The move set up a vote in the Senate.When Senate Republican leaders hastily created a conference committee to meet Wednesday night, two Democratic state senators said they feared Republicans planned to pass parts of Walker’s proposal.
Update: NBC reports that the conference committee has already approved the new split-off collective bargaining bill. Now it’s on to the senate for a vote; the GOP-controlled assembly will vote on it tomorrow. One hitch, though, from the Journal-Sentinel article linked above: Did they follow proper procedure in calling the conference committee?
Republican senators quickly assembled at 4 p.m. to send the bill to a conference committee, which convenes at 6 p.m. They largely declined comment after the meeting.
Attorney Robert Dreps, an expert on the state open meetings law, said he did not believe the conference committee could meet with such short notice.
State law generally requires a 24-hour notice for public meetings, but can be called with just two hours notice when more notice is impossible or impractical, said Dreps, who has represented the Journal Sentinel in the past.
“I can’t imagine how they can meet that standard,” he said.
Update: And just like that, the deed is done:
In 18-1 vote, Wis. Senate approves bill to strip public employees of collective bargaining rights
Update: Via Breitbart, here’s Fizgerald earlier today suggesting that the White House might be coordinating the recall efforts against Wisconsin state senators.
More updates via Ace:
Update: “Fish the Impaler” tells me Fox radio reports the fleebaggers are coming back to Madison. Update: FoxNews (TV) now reporting that as well.
Update: A reader says it’s been voted out of conference 18-1 and is now going to the Assembly.
Above, I erred, in saying they were in committee, a sub-unit of the full senate. In fact they’re in conference, banging out changes to make it ready for passage in the Assembly.
If this is true, the deal is already done.
Threat? Janir writes that a local radio guy speculates —
Belling opines that this may not be signed by Gov. Walker and this is a way threaten the 14 missing senators to get back to work or he will sign it. I hope he does sign it, get the collective bargaining restrictions and other union excesses reigned in.
As Steven Malanga points out in City Journal, eradicating collective bargaining isn’t the endgame — it’s just the beginning.
Video via Gateway Pundit:
The vote: via The MacIver Institute:
The mood outside of the State House:
Left-Wing Institute For Civil Discourse: Video: Windows Reported Broken As Madison Capitol Fills After Union Vote
MORE via Instapundit:
“They intend to physically keep the legislature from assembling tomorrow to vote. Mob rule… ”
Also: “I guess that this means the new civility bullshit is officially over?”
And, noting the DNC’s involvement in these protests: “Barack Obama paid for, organized, and is putting on this riot.”
MORE: Michael Moore: “This Is War.” Yeah, I guess the “new civility bullshit” is officially over. Bear that in mind as you contemplate a response. I don’t think these people realize that they are setting precedents that they may come to regret. They are as feckless in this behavior as they are in their fiscal approach. The consequences are likely to be insalubrious.
MORE STILL: An I-told-you-so from Jim Lindgren.
Plus, reader Jeff Johnson writes: “Will the governor call in the National Guard? He’s not getting any support from the police.”
People sneaking in through window:
As posted at Youtube:
The crowd went quiet at the east lower entrance. Rally leaders told everyone to be quiet and call/ get whomever we can to get into the building within minutes. The window was open for 5 minutes…