Protestors disrupt State Senate debateWisconsin Legislature
-- Protestors interrupted the Wisconsin Senate’s budget session as soon as it began around 11 a.m.
MADISON - Protestors interrupted the Wisconsin Senate’s budget session as soon as it began around 11 a.m.
Police removed two protestors from the Wisconsin Senate chamber over the noon hour, after they used bicycle locks to chain themselves to the railing in the gallery. Officers cut apart the locks before hauling the demonstrators away. A woman named Bridgette told a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter she would stay locked in the gallery for 24 hours. The other person who chained himself was a man. He told Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs he swallowed the key to his bicycle lock. At least four other protestors were reportedly removed from the gallery.
A number of protestors were removed from the chamber when they shouted “Kill the bill,” as the lawmakers were about to recite the Pledge-of-Allegiance. After about three minutes of the chanting, Senate President Mike Ellis (R-Neenah) called the meeting to a halt. Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald had asked for time for both parties to meet privately to discuss their strategies.
Senators are scheduled to debate the proposed state budget for the next two years, which passed the Assembly at three this morning. Assembly Democrats had proposed a number of amendments that majority Republicans struck down. The body did approve a number of GOP changes – most of them nullifying last-minute actions by the Joint Finance Committee. Once the Senate approves the budget, it goes to Governor Scott Walker, who can make changes with his line-item veto power. Legislative leaders hope to pass the budget in time for it to take effect on July first as scheduled.