Protests Close Wisconsin's Schools for a Second Day

But Gov. Scott Walker's proposal will likely pass
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 17, 2011 9:58 AM CST
Protests Close Wisconsin's Schools for a Second Day
Protestors to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers demonstrate Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011, at the State Capitol in Madison, Wis.    (Andy Manis)

Madison's schools were forced to close for a second day as a momentous bill that would strip Wisconsin's government workers of nearly all collective bargaining rights sped through the Legislature and appeared poised to pass. Protesters clogged the hallways of the state Capitol ahead of today's planned vote; thousands are expected to show up for the third day of protests against the nation's most aggressive anti-union proposal.

Children, teachers, and university students were among the protesters chanting, "Kill the bill!" and "Recall Walker!" Some slept in the rotunda. But there appeared to be little doubt the bill would pass; the Legislature's budget committee passed it just before midnight, and Republican leaders said it has the votes to pass in both the Senate and Assembly. Republican leaders say the union concessions would save the state $30 million by July 1 and $300 million over the next two years to address a $3.6 billion budget shortfall. Click for more on the bill and yesterday's protests. (More Wisconsin stories.)

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