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UPDATE: Paychecks To Be Withheld From Absent Wisconsin Senators

UPDATED Wednesday, February 23, 2011 --- 6:45 a.m.

Wis. Dems not deterred by recall threat, pay issue

By DINESH RAMDE
Associated Press

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Wisconsin state Sen. Chris Larson says when the Democratic walkout from the state Capitol started nearly a week ago, all he took along was his toothbrush and one extra shirt. He didn't think he'd need another.

But Democrats senators remain hiding in Illinois. Back in Wisconsin, the Legislature has returned to work. But without the 14 wayward Democrats, the Senate can't take up the issue that made the Democrats walk out: a plan to strip government workers of collective bargaining rights.

There have been ideas on how to lure them back, so far unsuccessful. One group has started drafting a recall effort. And a Senate panel voted Tuesday to make the lawmakers pick up their paychecks in person rather than get the money automatically added to their bank accounts.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, February 22, 2011 --- 6:50 p.m

Wis. Dems not deterred by recall threat, pay issue

By DINESH RAMDE
Associated Press

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Wisconsin's 14 Democratic senators are being threatened with recalls and having their paychecks withheld because they've been hiding out of state since Thursday. But they say those threats won't deter them in their opposition to the anti-union bill that prompted their flight.

The senators have been gone for five days. As long as they're away there aren't enough senators left to take action on a bill by Republican Gov. Scott Walker that would strip unionized public employees of most of their bargaining rights.

The pressure is ramping up for the Democrats to return. A Utah-based group has filed paperwork to recall some of them, and the Senate passed a measure withholding paychecks from absent lawmakers.

But the Democrats say they're not coming back while the bargaining rights are in jeopardy.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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Posted Tuesday, February 22, 2011 --- 3:25 p.m.

Paychecks to be withheld from absent Wis. senators

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- State senators who miss two or more session days will no longer get paid through direct deposit. They'll have to pick up their checks in person on the Senate floor during a session.

The new rule is aimed at forcing the return of 14 Senate Democrats who have been hiding in Illinois since Thursday. They fled the state to stall a vote on an anti-union bill, and have threatened to stay away until Republican Gov. Scott Walker agrees to compromise.

Tuesday's vote was along party lines. The three Republicans on the Committee on Senate Organization voted for it and the two absent Democrats cast their no votes by fax.

The measure applies to paychecks, per diem checks, and any expense reimbursements. The absent senators will have to collect their checks from the Senate majority leader.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.


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