Republican Gov. Scott Walker on Monday gave absent Democratic lawmakers an ultimatum to return to Wisconsin within 24 hours and vote on a proposal to reduce the power of public sector unions or the state would miss out on a debt restructuring.
Walker stepped up the pressure on 14 Senate Democrats who fled the state to avoid a vote on the bill as he prepared to unveil on Tuesday a two-year state budget that he said cuts $1 billion from funding to local governments and schools.
What began as one small state trying to rewrite the rules of labor relations has blown up into what could be the biggest confrontation with American labor unions since then President Ronald Reagan fired striking air traffic controllers in 1981.
...The proposal was approved by the state Assembly last week but is stalled in the Senate because the 14 Democrats have fled the state to avoid a vote... The proposal includes a restructuring of the state's debt that Walker said would save $165 million. Walker said this restructuring deal was in doubt if the Democrats did not return.
"Failure to return to work and cast their votes will lead to more painful and aggressive spending cuts in the very near future," Walker's said in a statement.
If the budget bill isn't passed before the deadline, more than a thousand state employees will lose their jobs.
And that will be the Democrats' choice.
Hat tip: Memeorandum. Linked by: Michelle Malkin. Thanks!