After months of controversy, court decisions, protests and partisan bickering, the state Senate late Thursday passed Gov. Scott Walker’s $66 billion budget after nine hours of debate.
The bill passed on a party-line 19-14 vote, par for the course in a legislative session where Republican and Democratic lawmakers remain sharply divided on nearly all of Walker's proposed legislation.
The budget heads next to the governor, who is expected to sign it swiftly. Once signed, it will take effect July 1.
In a fitting end to the contentious budget process, a protester began shouting from the Senate chamber's viewing gallery as Senate President Michael Ellis called for a vote.
"I want my democracy back!" she screamed.
It was the last in a series of interruptions from protesters, which lawmakers did their best to ignore while debating the legislation. Earlier demonstrations included two protesters who chained themselves to railings in the Senate chamber’s viewing gallery.
Between the eruptions, senators hurled accusations and insults across the chamber, each side questioning the others motives.
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