Republican leader claims Democrats nearly returned - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Republican leader claims Democrats nearly returned

MADISON (WKOW) -- Republican Senate majority leader Scott Fitzgerald said he received an assurance a group of absent democratic senators were poised to return to the capitol from Illinois Wednesday, only to have no democrat appear.

Fitzgerald said Sen. Tim Cullen (D-Janesville) told him in a phone call to expect the return of five or six democrats.   They have been hiding in Illinois for nearly two weeks to avoid voting on Governor Walker's controversial plan to fix Wisconsin's budget in part by stripping public employees of most collective bargaining rights.

But Senate minority leader Sen. Mark Miller (D-Monona) told WKOW27 News from an undisclosed location in Illinois his group of fourteen democratic senators remained rock solid in their determination to stay away.   Miller would not comment directly on what Cullen told Fitzgerald.

Republican senators voted Wednesday to fine absent senators $100 for every day they remain absent from the senate floor session, and also voted to strip them of parking privileges and put tight controls on their office budgets. 

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