Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has issued a statement calling on the Democratic state Senators who staged a walkout Thursday to return to work immediately.
“Out of respect for the institution of the Legislature and the democratic process, I am calling on Senate Democrats to show up to work today, debate legislation and cast their vote,” Walker said. “Their actions by leaving the state and hiding from voting are disrespectful to the hundreds of thousands of public employees who showed up to work today and the millions of taxpayers they represent.”
Demonstrations have gripped Madison, Wisc., this week, as thousands have turned out in protest of Walker’s proposal that would strip nearly all state government workers of their collective bargaining rights. The state Senators’ walkout deprived Republicans of the three-fifths majority needed to vote on budget matters.
Earlier Thursday, state Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D) told WisPolitics that he and his fellow Democrats “were left with no choice.”
Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl(at)talkingpointsmemo.com