UPDATE: Senate meets again as Democrats stay out of state - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Senate meets again as Democrats stay out of state

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By Colby Robertson - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MADISON (WKOW) -- The State Senate took the floor once again without the 14 Democrats. They did some business repealing a racial profiling law that required police to collect data including the ethnicity of drivers they pull over.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says they continue to look at a number of different things that could bring the Democrats back to the chamber but, until that happens, he says the Republicans will continue to pass legislation.

For the third time and the second straight day, the Wisconsin State Senate went into session without Democrats.

Waving the Senate rule book, Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald once again took the floor asking the minority party to come back to Wisconsin to do their job.

Senator Fitzgerald says, "If we don't have this little white book, if someone says we're not going to play by the book anymore we have chaos."

Senator Fitzgerald says bottom line, these Democrats are trying to shut down the Wisconsin State Senate. He doesn't know how long they will stay away, but he says they're setting a precedent that is sweeping the nation.

Fitzgerald says, "The danger is if you have enough members to walk out of the chamber I mean they literally could shut down government. That's scary stuff when democracy is being crippled the way it is now in the Senate."

The 14 Senate Democrats have been gone for six days and they continue to say they'll stay away until Governor Walker (R-Wisconsin) sits down to compromise.

On the phone Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) says, "We can't move forward as a state being this deeply divided and obviously we have a financial crisis. They've offered everything up Governor has asked for. I don't know why we're not moving forward. When we come back is up to Governor Walker."

Republican Senator Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) has said he will offer an amendment to Governor Walker's budget repair bill that will restore collective bargaining in two years.

Fitzgerald said he talked to Senator Schultz Wednesday morning. He says Senator Schultz is in a tough spot but the Republican caucus remains rock solid.

Thursday, the Senate will be back on the floor at 11a.m. On the schedule is the controversial legislation regarding Voter ID.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The Wisconsin State Senate met for a third time and a second straight day with no Democrats present.

Wednesday, the 19 Republicans on the floor passed a resolution commending the Badger football team. They also voted on a bill that will end the mandate that police officers have to collect data of the people the pull over during traffic stops, including their race.

Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) says requirement for police to keep track of race doesn't serve a purpose and is a burden for law enforcement. Lazich says it requires police to determine race using their own discretion.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, once again, called for the minority party to return to Wisconsin. He says, "I can have a Call of the House, I can send State Troopers to their home, I can hold their paychecks, but the bottom line is they're trying to shut down the Wisconsin Senate."

Fitzgerald says the Democrats are creating chaos and the fact that they could literally shut down government is a scary thing.

Tuesday, Senator Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) announced he would offer an amendment to Governor Walker's Budget repair bill.

Senator Fitzgerald says he has talked to Senator Schultz and believes he's in a "tough spot." Fitzgerald says despite Senator Schultz's claims that he will propose an amendment, their caucus remains rock solid.

Colby Robertson will have complete coverage of the Senate's day tonight on 27 News at 5, 6 and 6:30.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The state Senate has passed a repeal of a law requiring law enforcement agencies to collect data about the race of drivers they pull over.

Sen. Lazich says the requirement for police to keep track of race doesn't serve a purpose and is a burden for law enforcement. Lazich goes on to say, it requires police to determine race using their own discretion.

The Senate voted 19-0 to pass Senate Bill 15.

All Senate Republicans were there, the Democrats all remained absent.

State Troopers are once again blocking off the Senate wing and up in the balcony above the Senate floor. Protestors could be heard from inside the Senate chamber.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald today told the Senate that January 3rd was a great day and a peaceful transition between parties. Fitzgerald says the Democrats are creating chaos and trying to set down the Wisconsin Senate. He says he's proud of the Assembly.

Fitzgerald said, "I'm asking minority to come back. They have destroyed credibility of Wisconsin."

He went on to say they're setting a precedent sweeping the nation.

The Senate regular session has adjourned until 11 a.m. Thursday.

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