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Massachusetts Echoes Wisconsin Curtailing Union Bargaining Power

Massachusetts lawmakers led by Democrats passed a $30.6 billion budget yesterday that includes a provision limiting collective bargaining by municipal workers on health care including insurance co-pays and deductibles.

The change echoes efforts in Wisconsin and Ohio, where Republicans put greater restrictions on negotiations by government employees to narrow deficits. While Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, a Democrat who won a second term last year, sought similar curbs in his 2012 budget plan, he hasn’t said whether he supports the Legislature’s modified version.