HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Connecticut lawmakers are moving closer to requiring the Department of Education to come up with a curriculum that local school districts can use to teach about the history of the labor movement.

The Senate on Wednesday passed a bill on a bipartisan 25-10 vote. Some critics said the bill is unnecessary, political and could send an anti-business message.

Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney argued it’s important for students to learn about the labor struggle “as the right of workers to organize and collectively bargain is being challenged across the country.”

Under the bill _ which awaits House action _ labor history, collective bargaining and existing workplace protections would be part of the voluntary curriculum.

 The state already provides curriculum on the Holocaust, the Great Famine in Ireland and African-American history.