Republicans in the Wisconsin Senate passed a resolution Thursday calling for police to take 14 Democrats into custody for contempt after they fled to Illinois to avoid voting on a bill that would strip public-sector unions of nearly all their collective bargaining rights.
On the same day, Republicans in the Indiana House agreed to impose fines of $250 per day on Democrats who are also in Illinois, boycotting the legislature over labor and education bills they oppose.
In Wisconsin, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald signed the orders after Republicans voted 19-0 calling for the action unless Democrats returned to the chamber by 4 p.m. Thursday.
None of the Democrats did, prompting Fitzgerald to sign 14 orders of detainment in dramatic fashion in the center of the Senate chamber. State patrol officers watched silently from the gallery.
The move comes two weeks after the Democrats left, effectively delaying the vote on Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal that he says will help him address a $3.6 billion budget shortfall. Walker said Thursday that he will start issuing layoff notices to state workers on Friday if his bill isn’t passed by then.
[…]The resolution gives the sergeant at arms the authority to take any and all steps, with or without force and assistance from police, to bring the senators back.
The Republicans should make the fines $250 per hour, not $250 per day. And they should apply the fine to all the union thugs, not just the Democrat fleebaggers. Then the Republicans could balance the budget. Everybody wins!