MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin's Senate Republicans have voted to order police to bring their AWOL Democratic colleagues back to work by force if they don't return by late afternoon.
The 14 Democratic senators escaped to Illinois two weeks ago to avoid voting on Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to take away nearly all collective bargaining rights from most state workers. Their absence has prevented a quorum and blocked passage of the bill.
The state constitution doesn't allow for senators to be arrested simply for not showing up.
But Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says the resolution passed Thursday allows police to take the Democrats into custody under Senate rules and only if they are in Wisconsin.
Senate Democrats disagree about what's allowed under the chamber's rules and are consulting with lawyers.