MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Assembly early Friday passed a bill that would strip most public workers of their collective bargaining rights — the first significant action on the new Republican governor's plan.
The vote put an end to three straight days of punishing debate, but the political standoff over the bill is far from over.
The Assembly vote sends the bill on to the state Senate, where minority Democrats have been missing for a week. No one knows when — or if — they'll return from their hideout in Illinois. Republicans who control the Senate sent state troopers out looking for them at their homes on Thursday, but they turned up nothing.