Senate remains in gridlock, voter ID coming this week - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Senate remains in gridlock, voter ID coming this week


By Capitol Bureau Chief Bob Schaper - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MADISON (WKOW) -- Lawmakers are no closer to resolving the budget impasse that has gripped the state.

Democratic senators remained in self-exile, while the Assembly braced itself for what could be a marathon debate.

"There is a proposal on the table where the governor gets what he needs in terms of economic concessions, and the workers get what they want in terms of maintaining their rights as workers," Sen. Mark Miller (D) Monona said on a conference call with his counterpart, Majority Leader Sen. Scott Fitzgerald (R) Juneau.

"The governor is asking you to do the same thing I am, which is to show up for work tomorrow," Fitzgerald countered. "We will be in at 10 a.m."

Another day, another argument at the Capitol. This time it happened while setting the calendar for tomorrow's Senate session.

After the meeting Fitzgerald said he would not try to pass a collective bargaining provision separately from the governor's budget repair bill. But he says the senate will take up non-spending bills this week, such as voter ID.

"No you can't shut down government," Fitzgerald said. "Just because they don't want to participate you can't stop us from doing the people's work. That is a dangerous message that would be sent if we didn't have regular session tomorrow."

As the budget repair bill remains gridlocked in the Senate, the Assembly is set to start debate on what could be hundreds of Democratic amendments -- even as the protests in the Capitol enter their second week.

"We're gonna have literally hundreds of amendments, each amendment will take about an hour to debate," Rep. Bret Hulsey (D-Madison) said.

Apart from the chaos down below, Democrats continue their ad hoc public hearing on the bill. So far there's been more than 120 hours of testimony from over 500 people. And that includes U.S. Airways pilot Jeffrey Skiles, who was first officer during the "Miracle on the Hudson."

An Oregon resident, Skiles spoke out against the bill last night.

"He talked about the union busting concerns he has," Rep. Gary Hebl (D-Sun Prairie). "He's in a pilot's union. He said every one on an airline is safe because of the unions."

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