Police have been dispatched to track down 14 Wisconsin state senators who are boycotting a vote to strip government workers of their collective bargaining rights. Republicans have a 19-14 majority in the chamber, but can’t pass the controversial bill without at least one Democrat present, and all of them were missing in action today, the AP reports.
“They checked out, and I’m not sure where they’re at,” the Republican majority leader said. “This is the ultimate shutdown, what we’re seeing today.” Democrats released a statement urging Republicans to listen to the bill’s opponents, but they didn’t say where they were or when they’d return. When Republicans announced that they didn’t have enough lawmakers to take the vote, a cheer rang through the chamber; thousands had shown up to protest the bill. Click for previous coverage and more background. (Read more Wisconsin stories.)