The special conference committee in Wisconsin –Â convened in order to strip out the fiscal elements of Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill, in order to pass the anti-public employee union proposals and avoid the state SenateDemocratic boycott of the three-fifths budget quorum — just met for roughly five minutes and passed the bill.
Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D) attempted to make a motion to delay the meeting or make amendments — and was not recognized for a motion by the chair, state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald. Barca argued, over Fitzgerald’s attempts to say there would be no motions, that the conference committee violated the state’s open meetings law, which requires at least 24 hours notice before a government meeting, unless there is good cause to act more quickly.
The bill then passed in committee on a 4-2, party-line margin — and in a surreal sight, the online feed of the state equivalent of C-Span, Wisconsin Eye, faded out to tranquil music as the video was playing the shouting and ire of the meeting itself.
The bill to strip away most collective bargaining for public employee unions, and impose new limits on union organization, is now headed to the full chambers.
Late Update: Jessica Arp with the local CBS affiliate reports that the Senate has just passed the bill by a margin of 18-1 — with only moderate Republican Dale Schultz voting no, in absence of the Democrats who had fled the state in order to block budget quorum.
Mary Spicuzza with the Wisconsin State Journal reports that the Assembly will move on the bill tomorrow.