- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
Wis. troopers sent to find Dems, but no one home
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin state troopers were dispatched Thursday to try to find at least one of the 14 Senate Democrats who have been on the run for eight days to delay a vote on RepublicanGov. Scott Walker’s proposal to strip collective bargaining rights from nearly all public employees.
Meanwhile, the state Assembly appeared close to voting on the union rights bill after two days of filibustering the measure with a blizzard of amendments. Democrats reached an early-morning deal after 43 hours of debate to limit the number of remaining amendments and time spent on each.
Troopers went to multiple homes Thursday morning hoping to find at least one of the 14 Democrats, some of whom were rumored to have made short trips home to pick up clothes and other necessities before again fleeing the state. But the troopers came up empty-handed, Senate Sergeant at Arms Ted Blazel said.
Thousands of people have protested the bill for nine straight days, with hundreds spending the night on the Capitol’s hard marble floor as the debate was broadcast on monitors in the Rotunda. Many still were sleeping when the deal to debate only 38 more amendments, for no more than 10 minutes each, was announced shortly after 6 a.m. The timing of the agreement means the vote could come as soon as noon Thursday.
“We will strongly make our points, but understand, you are limiting the voice of the public as you do this,” said Democratic state Rep. Mark Pocan of Madison. “You can’t dictate democracy. You are limiting the people’s voice with this agreement this morning.”
Democrats, who are in the minority, don’t have the votes to stop the bill once the vote occurs.
Passage of the bill in the Assembly would be a major victory for Republicans and Mr. Walker, but the measure still must clear the Senate. Democrats there left town last week rather than vote on the bill, which has stymied efforts there to take it up.
The battle over labor rights has been heating up across the country, as new Republican majorities tackle budget woes in several states. The GOP efforts have sparked huge protests from unions and their supporters and led Democrats in Wisconsin and Indiana to flee their states to block measures.
Republicans in Ohio offered a small concession Wednesday, saying they would support allowing unionized state workers to collectively bargain on wages but not for benefits, sick time, vacation or other conditions. Wisconsin’s proposal also would allow most public workers to collectively bargain only for wages.
In Ohio, Senate President Tom Niehaus, a Republican, denied that protests have dented the GOP’s resolve, saying lawmakers decided to make the change after listening to hours of testimony. He said he still believes the bill’s core purpose — reining in spending by allowing governments more flexibility in dealing with their workers — is intact.
TWT Video Picks
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- Vietnam says it may have found door of missing Malaysian jet as intel look into stolen passports
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- Obama engages in Ukraine diplomacy from Fla. resort as Russia digs in
- CPAC 2014 straw poll results
- EDITORIAL: Senate rejects Adegbile for Justice post
- Italy outraged over U.S. gun dealer's 'David' ad
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again