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Friday, November 4, 2011

 1:45 AM 

School felon bill messaged; Dems berate Republicans for interrupting caucus

After a voice vote to message SB 86 -- allowing school districts to fire or refuse to hire convicted felons -- to the Senate with most Dem lawmakers still off the floor, Dem leaders admonished Republicans and sought to return to caucus.

Rep. Kelda Roys, D-Madison, said the caucus is working as expeditiously as possible to resolve ongoing issues, and that she “strenuously object(s) to being called out here” before their business is completed.

Minority Leader Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, then berated Republicans, promising that they would be in the minority someday in the future.

“This abuse of power has got to stop,” Barca declared. “We do not behave like this. We do not treat each other like this.”

Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald, R-Horicon, responded that he's trying to work with Dems, but that they've been in caucus for hours without a hint of a timeline.

“Don't punish the rest of us here because you can't control your caucus,” Fitzgerald said.

After one protester in the gallery yelled an expletive during Fitzgerald's remarks, Speaker Pro Tempore Bill Kramer ordered the gallery cleared.

The Assembly is now back in caucus; lawmakers intend to reconvene at 2:30 a.m.


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