MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin Democratic lawmaker says negotiations have stalled with Republicans over controversial legislation that would strip most public workers of their collective bargaining rights.
Sen. Tim Cullen said Saturday that talks broke down Thursday but lines of communication remain open. Cullen says it's difficult for either side to compromise, since Democrats don't want to lose their base support and Republican Gov. Scott Walker doesn't want to appear weak by backing down.
Cullen is among the 14 Democratic senators who fled Wisconsin to block a vote on the legislation, and pro-union demonstrators are nearing their third straight week of protests at the Wisconsin Capitol.
Walker has said the legislation is needed to help ease a state deficit projected to hit $3.6 billion by mid-2013. His spokesman didn't return a message Saturday.
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