Remember when Texas Democrats fled first to Oklahoma and then later to New Mexico? What's going on in Wisconsin today seems VERY similar. Of course, the Democrats were ultimately defeated in that battle over redistricting.
Madison — Law enforcement is now searching for Democratic senators boycotting a Senate vote on Gov. Scott Walker's budget-repair plan Thursday in an attempt to bring the lawmakers to the floor to allow Republicans to move forward with action on the bill.
In a press conference just off the Senate floor, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) said that Democrats were "not showing up for work" and that police were searching for them to bring them to the floor.
"That's not democracy. That's not what this chamber is about," Fitzgerald said of the boycott to reporters.
Sen. Tim Cullen (D-Janesville) confirmed Thursday that Democrats are boycotting the Senate action on the bill in efforts to block a quorum and keep the measure from passing. Because 20 senators of the 33-member house are needed to be present to pass a fiscal bill, the body's 19 Republicans will not be enough to pass the budget repair bill without at least one Democrat present.
"They can't pass this bill if there's not a Democrat in the chamber," Cullen said.
Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller (D-Monona) released a statement calling on Republicans to listen to unions and protesters calling for changes to the bill, which would cut benefits and almost all union bargaining rights for public employees.