MADISON, Wis. — To end a high-stakes stalemate over union rights that has captured the nation's attention, a handful of Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin might have to stand up to their new governor.
Gov. Scott Walker made clear Monday he won't back off his proposal to effectively eliminate collective bargaining rights for most public employees. Senate Democrats who fled the state last week to delay the plan vowed not to come back to allow it to pass – even if they have to miss votes on other bills Tuesday. And union leaders said they would not let up on protests that have consumed Wisconsin's capital city for a week and made the state the center of a national debate over the role of public employees' unions.
Protesters who crowded inside the Capitol for a sixth day Sunday had a similar message. They hung a banner in the Capitol reading "Wisconsin needs 3 cou(R)ageous Senators," referring to the number of Republicans needed to join with Democrats to block the bill.