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GOP imposes $100 fines on AWOL Wisconsin Senate Democrats

Demonstrators at the Capitol building in Madison are protesting Republican Gov. Scott Walker's legislation to cut public employees' benefits and eliminate most of their collective bargaining rights.

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By SCOTT BAUER
The Associated Press
Wednesday, March 9, 2011; 3:37 PM

MADISON, Wis. -- Republicans in the Wisconsin Senate have voted to fine the chamber's AWOL Democrats $100 for each day they miss of the legislative session.

Wednesday's vote comes nearly three weeks after the Senate's 14 Democrats fled the state to block a vote on legislation that would strip most public workers of their collective bargaining rights. Republican Gov. Scott Walker says the GOP remains committed to the bill.

Walker met with Republican senators in a closed-door meeting Wednesday, a day after releasing details about concessions he's offered to Democrats.

Democratic Senate leaders say they're willing to negotiate on a deal that will end the impasse.

Their Republican counterparts agreed to impose the fines in a largely symbolic move, since only one planned legislative day remains before lawmakers take a month-long break.


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