Wisconsin GOP bypasses Dems, cuts collective bargaining - KMOV.com

Wisconsin GOP bypasses Dems, cuts collective bargaining

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Opponents to the governor's bill to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers have retaken over the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., Wednesday, March 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Andy Manis) By Andy Manis Opponents to the governor's bill to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers have retaken over the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., Wednesday, March 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Andy Manis) By Andy Manis
Protesters grab for pizza's at the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., Wednesday, March 9, 2011, after demonstrators retook the Capitol building Wednesday night. (AP Photo/Andy Manis) By Andy Manis Protesters grab for pizza's at the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., Wednesday, March 9, 2011, after demonstrators retook the Capitol building Wednesday night. (AP Photo/Andy Manis) By Andy Manis
Opponents to the governor's bill to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers have retaken over the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., Wednesday, March 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Andy Manis) By Andy Manis Opponents to the governor's bill to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers have retaken over the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., Wednesday, March 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Andy Manis) By Andy Manis
Opponents to the governor's bill to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers have retaken over the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., Wednesday, March 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Andy Manis) By Andy Manis Opponents to the governor's bill to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers have retaken over the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., Wednesday, March 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Andy Manis) By Andy Manis

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin Senate has bypassed a boycott by all 14 Democrats to approve a bill that would strip nearly all collective bargaining rights from public workers.

Republicans voted 18 to 1 to approve a measure that has generated controversy in Madison and nationwide. Spectators called the lawmakers "cowards" as they hurriedly voted without debate to approve the measure.

The Senate requires a quorum to take up any measures that spends money. But Republicans took all the spending measures out of the legislation, changed it in conference and voted to approve it moments later. The lone Democrat present shouted that the meeting violated the state's open meetings law.

The Democratic leader in the Senate accused his colleagues of undoing 50 years of civil rights in 30 minutes.

After word the vote spread, protesters swarmed the Capitol.

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