Assembly Passes Right-To-Work On Party Line Vote

Bill Now Heads To Walker's Desk

Kristy (CC-BY-SA)

A Republican bill that would make Wisconsin the nation’s 25th right-to-work state is now headed to the governor’s desk after it passed the state Assembly on a party line vote.

In a debate that started on Thursday and wrapped up at around 9 a.m. on Friday morning, Republican after Republican said the bill to ban mandatory union dues at private-sector businesses was a workplace freedom issue.

Big Bend Republican Rep. Dave Craig said his party was taking a principled stand.

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“Let history mark where this side of the aisle rested on that fundamental question,” he said.

Delafield Republican Rep. Chris Kapenga agreed that it was a historic vote.

“This is going to change the face of the state. It’s going to be a great thing. I’m excited about it,” he said.

Democratic Rep. Chris Taylor said the real issue was the way this bill would lower workers wages and reduce their health care and pension benefits.

“Right to work is not about freedom, it does not make workers more free. It makes them poorer,” said the Madison assemblywoman.

A spokeswoman for Gov. Scott Walker confirmed the governor plans to sign the bill Monday.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story included a quote from Rep. Dave Craig containing a factual error about the scope of the right-to-work bill, related to hiring and firing. The story has been updated.