Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald on Tuesday continued to allow Democratic members to participate in the Committee on Senate Organization, but warned he could change his mind if Wisconsin’s 14 Senate Democrats remain out of state.
The panel, which includes three Republicans and two Democrats, sets the Senate agenda. Senators Mark Miller, D-Monona, and Dave Hansen, D-Green Bay, have participated in two sessions via teleconference.
“The reason you are allowed to be part of the committee today is out of a courtesy I’m extending you,” Fitzgerald told the Democratic lawmakers Tuesday. “There’s no requirement that you be able to participate by phone.”
Miller, the Senate minority leader, then tested Fitzgerald’s patience by complaining he didn’t have sufficient notice before the panel met.
“I would appreciate if we could have at least 30 minutes advance notice prior to future meetings,” Miller said.
Fitzgerald, looking almost stunned, replied: “I don’t think you’re going to get 30 minutes notice. I’m just wondering whether or not I’m gonna let you participate anymore.”
Fitzgerald reminded Miller that Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill would remain on the calendar on Wednesday – and every day until Democrats return to Wisconsin for a vote.
“I’m hopeful that one of the Democrat senators decides to come back to work, and we can continue our business on the budget repair bill,” Fitzgerald said.