MADISON, Wis. (WTAQ) - State Senate Democrat Bob Jauch says he’s given up hope that more Republicans will jump ship on the governor’s plan to limit public union bargaining.
Three Republicans would have to vote with the minority Democrats to strike down the bargaining provisions. But only Dale Schultz of Richland Center has broken ranks with his GOP. And Jauch – the veteran senator from Poplar – says he no longer believes Democrats can convince two other Republicans to compromise.
As a result, he says the bill’s opponents will have to look for other ways to protect unionized public employees. Jauch told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “In order to kill this bill, we could never go home – that’s not practical, and most people realize it.”
Senators have been away from the Capitol for 15 days to block a vote on the measure. Republican Governor Scott Walker says he has talked with Democrats about compromising in other areas, but he won’t compromise on a virtual end to collective bargaining powers for most public unions.
Senate Republicans have placed Democrats in contempt of the chamber for being away so long. Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says they face a variety of punishments when they return, including expulsion.
But that’s not likely, since Republicans don’t have the two-thirds support they would need to toss out a Democrat. Censures or reprimands are more likely, since they only require a simple majority.