Apparently, state legislature Republicans have more spine than Republicans in Washington:
Bypassing Democrats hiding out in Illinois, Wisconsin Senate Republicans voted Wednesday night to strip state workers of their collective bargaining rights.
Republicans voted 18-1 to pass the stripped-down budget bill in a hastily arranged meeting. None of the Senate Democrats were present.
The State Assembly is expected to vote on the bill Thursday.
All 14 Senate Democrats fled to Illinois nearly three weeks ago, preventing the chamber from having enough members present to consider Gov. Scott Walker’s so-called “budget repair bill” — a proposal introduced to plug a $137 million budget shortfall..
The Senate requires a quorum to take up any measures that spend money. But Republicans on Wednesday split from the legislation the proposal to curtail union rights, and a special conference committee of state lawmakers approved that bill a short time later.
Wisconsin Senate Democratic leader Mark Miller said Wednesday Democrats will “join the people of Wisconsin in taking back their government,” but he refused to say when.
The lone Democrat present on the conference committee, Rep. Tony Barca, shouted that the surprise meeting was a violation of the state’s open meetings law but Republicans voted over his objections. The Senate then convened within minutes and passed it without discussion or debate.
Spectators in the gallery screamed “You are cowards.”
No, sorry! The cowards were the Democrats who thought hiding out was going to get them off the hook with the taxpayers who foot the bill for greedy, demanding unions. Republicans decided to call their bluff and do an end run around them. This is great. Maybe Democrats will think twice before pulling another “run for the border” move in the future. I applaud the Republicans in Wisconsin for doing the right thing.