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Workers’ Rights Showdown in Assembly

February 22, 2011

MADISON, Wis. - The measure that has sparked huge protests for more than a week at the State Capitol in Madison is expected to be considered by the Wisconsin state Assembly today. Thousands of people continue to pack the halls of the Capitol to protest a plan that would effectively end collective bargaining for most public employees and make major changes in Medicaid and BadgerCare.

Tracey Adman, a protester and a member of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) was asked what brought her to the halls of the Capitol.

"To protect the standard of living that my immigrant father fought for and that I want to provide to my children and my grandchildren."

The fate of the measure in the state Senate is up in the air after 14 Democratic senators left the state, leaving the Senate without a quorum. Other states are watching the developments carefully as they look for ways to balance their own budgets.

Adman says she knows that with Republicans in control it's an uphill fight, but she says it's important to be heard.

"And I only hope that the legislature in Wisconsin heeds these voices and listens to these people, and does the right thing."

Governor Scott Walker says he needs everything in the budget repair measure to balance the state's budget.

Glen Gardner, Public News Service - WI