Wisc. Republicans May Force Compromise

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The showdown over union rights in Wisconsin could end soon.

Officials have said that a handful of Republican lawmakers will break with Republican Gov. Scott Walker and force a compromise. However, 14 Democratic senators are still hiding out in Illinois, blocking a vote on the issue.

The impasse in Wisconsin has captured national attention as it pits union rights against balancing the state budget.

"Democrat, Republican, all of us, this is important because we can't sustain this spending anymore, we can't," said author Brad Thor, who supports Walker.

"Since the 90's, our salaries in Wisconsin, the average teacher's salary has fallen all the way to 28th in the nation," said Brian Chike of the Kenosha Unified School District. "We're below average."

Now, officials have said that some Republican lawmakers may be open to compromise -- even as Walker said he won't back down.

"We're broke," the governor said. "We have to balance a budget. The only alternative is layoffs. I don't want to lay anyone off, so we'll give local government the tools to balance the budget. Will stay firm on that."

Wisconsin Republicans said taking away collective bargaining rights is the only way to balance the budget, which contains a $3.6 billion deficit.

Yet, Democrat lawmakers said "No way" -- refusing to show up to prevent a vote on the budget.

Teachers have also come under criticism for walking off their jobs and closing many schools by calling in sick.

Students suspended for playing hooky may question the alleged practice of physicians writing notes for protestors needing to explain their absence from work.

There is still talk of compromise. One potential idea is to take away bargaining rights for two years and then restore them. The Republican-controlled state assembly is expected to meet Tuesday, but needs one Democratic vote to take up the issue.

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Heather Sells

Heather Sells

CBN News Reporter

Heather Sells enjoys reporting on a variety of issues for CBN News. Some of her recent stories have focused on religious liberties, technology, AIDS, overseas missions, domestic trafficking, and politics.  Follow Heather on Twitter @SellsHeather and "like" her at Facebook.com/HeatherSellsCBNNews.