Two proposals that would clamp down on public employee unions in Arizona are scheduled for debate and a possible vote in the state Senate today.
The measures come from a sweeping package of bills that have been making their way through the Senate since late last month and were designed to devastate organized labor in the state.
The most contentious bill in the package appeared to be on life support earlier this week after Republicans said they didn't have enough votes to pass it. The measure would ban collective bargaining for government workers at city, county and state levels. Its supporters said it went beyond even the tough restrictions Wisconsin put in place last year.
The Senate, made up of 21 Republicans and nine Democrats, will now take on two of the remaining proposals. One would outlaw governments from paying employees to do union work, a practice known as "release time." The other would bar employees from getting their union dues automatically deducted from their paychecks. A fourth bill that also deals with paycheck deductions appears to have stalled and has not yet been scheduled for a vote.
If approved by a voice vote in the Committee of the Whole today, the measures would move on to a full vote on the floor of the Senate. If the Senate passes them, they'll be sent to the House, which is also controlled by a two-thirds Republican majority.
Ed note: A previous version of this story incorrectly said the bills would be up for a full Senate vote today.
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