Lawmakers are back in session Tuesday - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Lawmakers are back in session Tuesday

MADISON (WKOW) -- They've been at odds for months over collective bargaining rights. This week, we see if state lawmakers put the past aside and move forward.

All 33 senators will be on the floor Tuesday for the first time since the Democrats fled to Illinois. Tensions in both the senate and assembly were at an all time high last time they met.

Democratic sources say trust among legislators is so frayed, they're making contingency plans just in case Republicans decide to bring up collective bargaining again Tuesday.

But, on camera, Democratic leaders say they'd be shocked if that actually happened.

Minority Leader Peter Barca says, "The public trust for Republicans is very low. Governor's personal popularity is taking a huge hit and they cannot continue to spring things on the public and so that's why we would be stunned if they brought it up tomorrow."

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said last week they don't intend to bring collective bargaining back to the floor but plan to instead see how things play out in court.

Sen. Bob Jauch (D-Poplar) says, "They have made so many missteps in the last few weeks that anything is possible."

While Senate Democrats were in Illinois, the majority leader was very critical of their decision while Democrats criticized the way Republicans rushed the collective bargaining bill through.

Senator Jauch says with everything that's happened, trust is an issue as they head back to the floor Tuesday, but they're going to have to figure out a way to once again work together.

Sen. Jauch says, "We can't ignore the fact it happened, we're going to have a conversation about it, but I hold many Republicans in contempt for the way they behaved as much as they may hold us in contempt."

Republican leaders in the Assembly and Senate were unavailable, but Republican Senator Glenn Grothman did say he has no problem putting things behind him and working together with Democrats.

Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) says, "I'll put it behind me. I deal with people I disagree with all the time and will deal with a Bob Wirch or a Lena Taylor just like I did before. I consider them friends who just do what the teachers union tells them."

Tuesday both the Assembly and Senate are expected to take up Governor Walker's latest budget proposal. It's essentially the fiscal elements of the original budget repair bill without collective bargaining. It's what democrats proposed from the beginning. the bill is designed to fix this fiscal year's projected budget deficit of $137 million. Democrats generally support this budget bill and are expected to pass when they take the floor Tuesday.

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