Washington Post: Wisconsin governor signs bill slashing union rights for public workers

March 11, 2011- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a highly contested bill Friday morning that takes collective bargaining rights away from most of the state's public employees. He also rescinded layoff notices for about 1,500 state workers.

The measure set off weeks of protests at the Capitol and sparked a walkout by Senate Democrats. It passed the state Assembly on Thursday, a day after the state Senate used a legislative maneuver to pass the bill without the 14 Democratic senators who fled the state in an effort to block it.

"While tough budget choices certainly still lie ahead, both state and local units of government will not have to do any mass layoffs or direct service reductions because of the reforms contained in the budget repair bill," Walker said in a statement. "The reforms contained in this legislation, which require modest health care and pension contributions from all public employees, will help put Wisconsin on a path to fiscal sustainability."

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