Wis. GOP Extends Olive Branch to AWOL Dems

Wednesday, 16 Mar 2011 12:53 PM

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Wisconsin GOP leaders extended an olive branch to their Democratic colleagues who fled the state in an effort to derail collective-bargaining reform, saying they would lift fines and a contempt finding, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Wednesday.

Wisconsin, GOP, Walker, Unions,  photo
Gov. Scott Walker
The move Tuesday comes in the aftermath of the Democrats’ boycott of the Senate for three weeks in a bitter fight again Gov. Scott Walker’s ultimately successful move to limit public workers’ collective-bargaining powers.

Former lawmakers said the Legislature would need more time to repair the rift between the parties. The two sides are not likely to come together in the near future, considering there’s a recall effort underway against 16 senators of both parties.

"Sadly, I don't think the animosity is going to heal any time soon," said former Senate President Alan Lasee, a Republican who spent more than 35 years in the Legislature.

Senate President Mike Ellis, a Republican from Neenah, said he would not enforce the contempt finding.

"The name of the game is moving this state forward, putting this stuff behind us," Ellis said. "Let's get on with the people's business. Let's stop all the bickering."

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