More bad news for the wandering fleebaggers…
If they don’t return this afternoon they will be held in contempt.
Wisconsin Senate Republicans warned the out-of-state senate democrats that they must return back to Wisconsin or face contempt. The state Senate passed the resolution demanding missing senators appear at the Capitol by 4 p.m. today or be held in contempt.
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Republicans in the state Senate ordered Democrats on Thursday to return to the chamber by 4 p.m. or be found in contempt of the Senate – a move that means Democrats could be taken into custody.
“We simply cannot have democracy be held hostage because the minority wants to prove a point,” said Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau).
Senate Democrats have been out of the state since Feb. 17 to prevent passage of GOP Gov. Scott Walker’s budget-repair bill. At least 20 senators must be present to pass the bill, but Republicans hold just 19 seats.
Fitzgerald said that Republicans were initially “nervous” about taking such a step but that Democrats have created a “constitutional crisis.”
“This is not about a budget-repair bill or about politics,” Fitzgerald said. “This is much bigger than that and the minority party has forced our hand . . . They’re insulting the very fabric of our representative democracy.”
The state constitution says lawmakers can be compelled to attend legislative sessions, but does not spell out how that can be done. Questions have been raised about whether senators can be arrested when they haven’t committed crimes.
In any case Democrats are out of the reach of Wisconsin law enforcement because they are camped out in Illinois and Fitzgerald said he would not consider seeking any sort of extradition from the other state. Fitzgerald, who met with two of the Democrats in Kenosha on Monday, said he believed some of the lawmakers were entering Wisconsin for other errands such as going to their homes.
You’ve gotta hand it to the Wisconsin Republicans.
They are tough!