MADISON (WKOW) -- In a statement, Gov. Scott Walker applauded the state Assembly's passage of a bill that strips nearly all collective bargaining rights from public employees.
The Assembly passed the bill Thursday on a 53-42 vote. The Senate approved the bill Wednesday night after using a procedural move to bypass its AWOL Democrats.
Here is the statement issued by Walker:
"I applaud all members of the Assembly for showing up, debating the legislation and participating in democracy. Their action will save jobs, protect taxpayers, reform government, and help balance the budget. Moving forward we will continue to focus on ensuring Wisconsin has a business climate that allows the private sector to create 250,000 new jobs."
Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald (R-Horicon) and Assembly Majority Leader Scott Suder (R-Abbotsford) also released statements after the bill was approved.
Speaker Fitzgerald said:
"Today's passage is a momentous step toward getting our state's fiscal house in order. Local municipalities and school districts will now have the tools they need to deal with the pending budget crisis without widespread layoffs.
"In November, we ran on solving the state's economic crisis by cutting spending and not raising taxes. That is exactly what we are doing today.
"The actions taken today by the State Assembly were in keeping with the rules of this body. Legislating is not always pretty but the minority party's continual attempts to block Democracy demanded that we take the steps necessary to complete the people's business."
In his statement, Rep. Suder said:
"After weeks of shameful stall tactics in another state that have paralyzed the state Legislature, Senate Democrats have made it painfully clear that they have no intention of joining with us in the democratic process so that we can give the budget repair bill an up or down vote.
"Their unprecedented and disgraceful behavior has forced the hand of the Legislature, and today we took the steps that were necessary to prevent massive layoffs both now and in the future.
"This vote will keep thousands of hard-working Wisconsinites from losing their job, and it will put out state on the path to fiscal solvency.
"Now we can finally move forward on passing a two year state budget that will balance our books and on enacting policies that will grow our economy and get Wisconsin working again."