MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Public employees have inundated Wisconsin's state Capitol to protest a plan to cut collective bargaining for most public employees.
Gov. Scott Walker's proposal is the boldest step yet by a new Republican governor and Legislature to solve budget problems by confronting organized labor.
Lawmakers are expected to vote as soon as Thursday on ending collective bargaining for all state, county and local employees except local police and fire and state patrol.
Teachers, nurses, prison guards and others staged protests Tuesday, chanting "Save our state!" and "Kill the bill!" while a parade of witnesses testified before lawmakers about the impact on middle-class families.
But legislative leaders say Walker now has enough support in both chambers to approve the measure. He says it's necessary to address a projected $3.6 billion budget deficit.
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