The state Senate met for a second time Wednesday without the 14 minority Democrats who were elected to serve in the chamber, and a frustrated Scott Fitzgerald is still trying to get those legislators to return to Madison. The Senate Majority Leader said he’s willing to meet with the Democrats, who left the state nearly a week ago to forestall a vote on budget repair. “I’ll be on the floor with their paychecks, and I hope that ultimately they’ll come and visit with me and pick up their paychecks after the first of the month,” said Fitzgerald. On the Senate floor Wednesday, Fitzgerald said the Democrat decision to leave is not legitimate, and that they’ve thrown democracy into chaos. “The bottom line is, they have decided to shut down Wisconsin’s government.”
Fitzgerald was asked whether recall efforts are a legitimate response. “Absolutely,” he said. “They swore to the constitution that they would to the best of their ability service the people of Wisconsin. And they are clearly not doing that at this point.”
Fitzgerald was also asked about an amendment to Governor Scott Walker’s budget repair bill being offered by Republican Senator Dale Schultz. “The amendment that would bring us all back two years from now so we could to this over again? That amendment? Obviously I think what Senator Schultz is doing is trying to develop some cover back in the district. He’s in a tough spot.” Schultz’s proposal would sunset the budget repair bill’s unprecedented restrictions on the collective bargaining rights of public employee unions after two years.
The Senate again acted without the Democrats, commending the Badgers on their Rose Bowl berth, and passing a bill which repeals a mandate on law enforcement to collect data at traffic stops.