Day 3 of rallies at State Capitol - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Day 3 of rallies at State Capitol


MADISON (WKOW) -- Labor supporters, including many teachers and students who don't have school across the state today, have returned to the Capitol for a third day of widespread protests against Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to end most collective bargaining for the majority of state employees.

Madison police estimate the crowd outside of the Capitol is about 20,000 people. No arrests have been made by MPD outside the Capitol. Inside, crowd estimates are at about 5,000 people. There are reports of about a dozen arrests within the Capitol for disorderly conduct.

Most of the demonstrators Thursday gathered in front of the Senate chambers where lawmakers will take up Republican Gov. Walker's bill to end collective bargaining, except on issues of salary, for most public employees. Walker has said the bill will help close the roughly $137 million shortfall in the state's current budget and a projected $3.6 billion deficit in the next two-year budget.

High school students from Memorial, West and Middleton High School are marching from West High School to the Capitol in support of the unions. Organizers expected more than 500 students to participate.

Many protesters spent the night in sleeping bags at the Capitol after the Legislature's budget committee worked late, passed the bill and forwarded it to the Senate.

Wednesday's protest drew an estimated 10,000 people to the Capitol, according the Department of Administration.

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