UPDATE: Governor officially cuts collective bargaining - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Governor officially cuts collective bargaining

MADISON (AP) -- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has officially taken away nearly all collective bargaining rights from the vast majority of the state's public employees.

Walker signed the bill to do so privately Friday morning. He planned an afternoon news conference in the Capitol.

The explosive measure passed the Assembly on Thursday following more than three weeks of protests that drew tens of thousands of people to the Capitol in opposition. The Senate cleared the way for passage with a surprise move Wednesday that allowed them to vote on the bill without 14 Democratic senators present.

Walker has said if the bill didn't pass up to 1,500 state workers could be laid off. He rescinded the layoff notices Friday morning.

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MADISON (AP) -- Gov. Scott Walker will sign a bill that takes away most collective bargaining for state employees on Friday.

His spokesman Cullen Werwie says details about the signing will be released later.

The state Assembly passed the bill Thursday after the Senate approved it Wednesday without 14 AWOL Democrats. The vote in the Senate followed more than three weeks of dramatic protests that clogged the streets, hallways and meeting rooms of the Capitol.

Walker has notified public employee unions that he's rescinding notices he sent last week that could have resulted in 1,500 layoffs. Walker said the layoffs would not be necessary since the bill, which includes $30 million in concessions from state employees, had passed.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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