Walker's budget bill in hands of 14 absent Senate Dems - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Walker's budget bill in hands of 14 absent Senate Dems


MADISON (WKOW) -- All eyes are now on the State Senate, but for the fourth straight day the Democrats stayed away.

All 14 Democrats left the state last Thursday and have refused to come back stalling final passage on Governor Walker's controversial budget repair bill.

The Senate's regular session has adjourned until Tuesday while the special session remains in recess.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) says if the Democrats decide to return over the weekend they would certainly come back, but, right now,they just continue to wait.

On the floor, Republicans praised their Assembly colleagues for passing the budget repair bill, something they can't do.

Sen. Neal Kedzie (R-Elkhorn) says, "They were there and did their duty. They let emotions be shown, let opinions be shown at least they faced the public and they call go home and say were there."

The 19 Republicans were able to get the bill to a third reading, but that is it. Final passage on the bill remains stalled in the Senate as long as Democrats stay away and even once they return they will not be allowed to offer amendments.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) says, "I'm not allowing them to come back and just on nauseam after they checked out of the process."

Senator Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) has said he would be willing to offer an amendment to the budget repair bill restoring collective bargaining rights in two years.

But, Friday, when he had the opportunity, he did not offer that amendment. Instead he blasted the Democrats for leaving.

Sen. Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) says, "I'm deeply disappointed in my colleagues in minority party for without their participation, a bi-partisan compromise is simply impossible."

Other Republicans also stood in support of Governor Walker and his budget repair bill. They argue stalling any longer will mean thousands of state and local workers will be laid off.

Sen Alberta Darling (R-River Falls) says, "We're trying to protect jobs. We're trying to prevent layoffs trying to do as voters asked us to do in November to get this state on stable footing and lead us to a better tomorrow."

Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says they're doing research trying to figure out if there is any way to move this forward without Senate Dems but he says at this point there is nothing available to them.


MADISON (WKOW) -- The Senate has adjourned their regular session until Tuesday.

When Republican Senate majority leader Scott Fitzgerald asked for a Call of the House Friday morning, all 19 Republicans were present, and no Democrats were.

Each Senate Republican stood and spoke about Gov. Walker's budget repair bill that would end most collective bargaining rights for state workers.

Sen. Lazich says all eyes are on the Senate Democrats displaying a lack of leadership. Sen. Lazich says it's a slap in the face to Wisconsin tax payers.

Sen. Grothman says it's time to make a tough decision. Grothman says she'll be so proud when this bill passes. She went on to say she commends the Assembly and Walker and encourages Dems to come back.

Sen. Lasee says, "We can't have the minority take off for weeks on end."

Sen. Kapanke says he's embarrassed to be a part of Wisconsin government.

Sen. Galloway, of Wausau, says she embraces the bill and the fiscal challenges the state faces.

Sen. Fitzgerald then moves to Call of the Senate. The Senate moves the bill to the third reading. Dems can not amend the bill.

Fitzgerald adjourned the regular session until Tuesday. The special session is in recess.

The fourteen Democratic Senators remain out of state, stalling the budget repair bill.

Gov. Walker has said the changes are necessary to cut the state's budget deficit.

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