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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tweet Signals Long Wisconsin Standoff, Time To Split The Bill

Republicans in the Wisconsin legislature do not need a 3/5ths quorum to pass non-budgetary legislation.

Gov. Scott Walker previously rejected calls to pass the collective bargaining provisions of the budget bill separately.  Walker's reasoning was that while the collective bargaining provisions in isolation may not be budgetary, they were part of and necessary to budget repair.

Walker's position was not the most politically advantageous, because he left himself at the mercy of the Democratic state Senators who have deprived the state Senate of a quorum by fleeing the state.

It's time for Walker to reconsider because Senate Democrats have no intention of negotiating on collective bargaining, or of returning anytime soon.

One of the fleeing Senators, Lena Taylor has tweeted (h/t JSOnline) that she has filed for an absentee ballot for judicial elections to be held on April 5:

Senate President Scott Fitzgerald sees team Obama behind this:
“We’re really beginning, I think, to believe that this isn’t just about the Wisconsin state Senate or the legislature,” he said. “This is about ties directly from the White House down to many of those that are involved in the recalls, and really how Wisconsin plays out in the next presidential election."
At this point, if there is no breakthrough very soon, there is not much to be lost by splitting the bill, passing collective bargaining reform (perhaps along the lines of compromise proposed by Walker in his e-mails with Democrats) without the need for a quorum, and letting the Senate Democrats stay in Illinois forever if they want to.

Update 6:55 p.m. - Fox News reports the Republicans are in caucus to split the bill, with a vote possible as early tonight.  If this happens, Republicans can pass the collective bargaining portion separately, and then if the Democrats still fail to return, they will bear the blame for any budget problems caused by their absence without the cover of the collective bargaining issue.

Wisconsin news sources are reporting the same thing:
A source confirmed to WISC-TV that Republican senators intend to remove fiscal portions of the budget bill in order to pass it without Democratic senators.

All 14 Senate Democrats left the state to prevent quorum on the bill. It takes at least 20 senators to take up any budget bill.

But not all parts of the proposal are budget-related.

Democratic Sen. Bob Jauch said he thinks Republicans plan to "ram through" parts of the bill that take away collective bargaining rights but that don't cost any money. Sen. Jon Erpenbach said he thinks they will do anything they can to bust up public unions with or without Democrats there.

The Senate convened unexpectedly around 4 p.m. Wednesday to create the committee, which planned to meet for the first time at 6 p.m. It was unclear what the committee would do.
Update 7:35 p.m. - Fox News reports the bill passed 18-1, with all financial terms stripped out so no need for quorum.  Coverage at Live Event.

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  1. It's long past time.

    The moment these slimy little worms took off, the bill should have been split. Now, they're emboldened and think they're holding the entire bill hostage, which is an advantage that Walker has handed to them like a gift.

    Failing to split the bill has been the only disappointment I've had with Walker... and he's quite unnecessarily shooting himself in the foot.

  2. Might as well split it, and get done what can be done. Might want to pass a bill making sure deadbeats get docked for no-shows while they're at it.

  3. One piece of legislation that the WI Republicans might consider to get Obama to back off would be to pass a law that NH is debating to require all candidates running for office provide a valid birth certificate when they file their papers.


  4. "....and letting the Senate Democrats stay in Illinois forever if they want to."

    I would agree, except they still need a quorum per their state constitution for passing budgetary bills. Therefore, they need to make either an emergency ruling or amendment to their state constitution allowing for a simple majority to pass budgetary legislation.

    And, given the tweet: there should also be something about fleeing senators, dereliction of duty, and receiving absentee ballots when on the lam...worded in perfect legal terms, of course!

    Also, I believe Senator Fitzgerald nailed it. This is a HUGE factor for Democrat elections, and they will stop at NOTHING to keep these Democrats fleebaggers from breaking ranks. Can you say RICO?

    This monstrous leftist machine needs to be exposed, dismantled, and all its components (e.g socialist front groups like ACORN or whatever they call themselves now, public unions) obliterated, with tight controls put in place to ensure it does not get re-created, like Frankenstein's monster.

  5. Just found out that the new NH birth certificate requirement would not take effect until 2013. So why pass it?

  6. 1. Apparently some WI Republicans are taking the recall efforts against them seriously. Is Walker wobbling? Ann Althouse says he's not.

    2. DINORightMarie said...This monstrous leftist machine needs to be exposed,...with tight controls put in place to ensure it does not get re-created, like Frankenstein's monster.

    I am skeptical about using the power of the State against political opponents except in extreme circumstances.

    If the American people refuse to learn from what's happened during the last two Administrations, the nation will deserve the consequences that I fear.

  7. Passing a "right to work" bill in Wisconsin is NOT a budgetary bill. It could be done. Why Walker doesn't do that is beyond me.

    Also, how can Lena Taylor request an absentee ballot when she does not have a reasonable reason for needing one?

  8. Umnnhhh....

    NOBODY, including fellow (D) leggies, pays attention to Lena Taylor.

    There's a reason. Listening to her for more than 180 seconds produces catatonia.