In a 18 to 1 vote, Republicans in the Wisconsin state senate have passed the measures curbing the rights of the public sector unions.
The parts which required the presence of their Democrat colleagues were omitted to facilitate the passage in the absence of 14 Democrats.
The measures, a brain child of the state Governor, Scott Walker, are facing stiff opposition and the Democrats even fled to Illinois to stall the introduction of the measures.
The governor has been insisting that there need to be restrictions so that the municipalities can deal with $1.27 billion projected drop in the state aid in the next two years.
The Democratic leader in the Senate, Mark Miller, accused the Republicans of showing disrespect to the people of the state.
The state municipalities are already facing a fiscal shortage and any cut in state funding is expected to be opposed stiffly.
The measures will now go for a vote at state assembly which is incidentally controlled by the Republicans.
Governor Walker appreciated the step taken by the Senate. “The senate Democrats have had three weeks to debate this bill and were offered repeated opportunities to come home, which they refused,” he said in a statement.
Proposal widely criticized
The proposal of governor Walker have sparked off a major protests involving the labor unions.
Even Democrats have condemned the move. Their spokesman, Graeme Zielinski, said, “It appears Republicans are violating their own word and ramming through the most divisive piece of legislation in modern history without democrats present.”
Critics have been blaming the measure accusing them of being aimed at weakening the power of the unions which are traditional supporters of the Democrats in the elections.
The Democratic leader in the Senate, Mark Miller accused the Republicans of showing disrespect to the people of the State.
“Tonight, 18 senate Republicans conspired to take government away from the people,” reported the Associated Press quoting him.
The State unions have said that they would agree to the proposals of Walker of implementing a pay cut of 8 percent but are not ready to lose their right of collective bargaining.