If you are employed in the private sector and leave work to avoid part of your duty, you can expect to be fired.
If you work for the government, that same scenario appears to be acceptable to some officials.
The Republican leader of the Wisconsin state Senate says there will be no vote on a bill taking away union rights for government workers until Democrats return.
Fourteen Democrats skipped town on Thursday, delaying indefinitely action on the proposal that has led to protests drawing as many as 68,000 people over the past week. One of those Democrats suggested Monday that Republicans might try to pass the restrictions on collective bargaining as part of another bill on Tuesday.
But Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says he will not attempt to pass any portions of the bill without Democrats present. The Senate is meeting today to take up other measures, such as a resolution commending the Green Bay Packers on winning the Super Bowl.
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 today. 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.
The Democrats need to return to their offices and do what the taxpayers are paying them to do - represent and work on a compromise.
They have been elected to serve their constituents, not hide in other states and hope the issue is settled in a favorable way.
Wisconsin, like many other states including Pennsylvania and California, has difficult decisions to make in creating a balanced budget. Whether they like it or not, elected officials have to be there to be part of the answer, not part of the ongoing problem.