Nearly all collective bargaining rights were stripped from Wisconsin public workers Friday when Gov. Scott Walker (R) officially signed his anti-union bill into law.


Walker signed the bill in a private ceremony Friday morning, according to The Associated Press.

A press conference was planned for Friday afternoon at the Capitol.

Walker had promised to lay off 1,500 state workers if the bill didn't pass. On Thursday, he canceled those layoffs.

In mid-February, 14 Democratic state senators left Wisconsin to avoid having to vote on the budget repair bill. There are 19 Republican senators, but the Senate needs a minimum of 20 members to be present to debate and vote on any bills that spend money.

While the 14 Democratic senators remained in Illinois, Republican state senators removed all references to spending from the bill and passed the proposal to limit public employees' collective bargaining rights.

The Wisconsin state Assembly paved the way for Walker's signature by passing the union-busting bill Wednesday.

The Wisconsin Democratic Party has launched a campaign to recall key Republican state senators who have aligned themselves with the governor's budget repair bill.

Under Wisconsin law, any elected official who has served at least one year of their current term can be recalled from office. Eight Republican senators are currently eligible to be recalled. Gov. Walker, who was inaugurated last January, will not be eligible for a recall until 2012.

"This is on the Republicans' heads right now," state Sen. Chris Larson (D) said. "If they decide to kill the middle class, it's on them."

"Everyone who is party to this travesty is writing their political obituary," he added.

-- with earlier reporting by Eric W. Dolan