A Republican state senator from Wisconsin tells local TV station WTMJ state Senate Democrats have not only left the Capitol, but they have all boarded the same bus and left the state. And now those reports have been confirmed by at least one Senate Democrat.*
The news is significant because local and even state police do not have the jurisdiction to bring the lawmakers back to the chamber to vote:
That same GOP state senator, Alberta Darling, also said she sent most of her staff home because she's worried about their safety amid the growing protester unrest at the Capitol.
The Democrats are trying to avoid voting on an emergency budget measure that would strip state workers' unions of most collective bargaining rights
A Democratic aide confirmed to the Associated Press that state Senate Democrats have left the state:
As ever-growing throngs of protesters filled the Capitol for a third day, the 14 Democrats disappeared from the Capitol. They were not in their offices, and aides said they did not know where any of them had gone.
Hours later, one of them told The Associated Press that the group had left Wisconsin.
One of the missing Democrats has told the AP that they have, in fact, left the state:
One member of the group told The Associated Press that they had all left Wisconsin in an effort to force Republicans to negotiate.
Democratic State Sen. Jon Erpenbach confirmed to Newsradio 620 WTMJ that he and all of his Democratic colleagues boarded a bus and left the state.
"We're not in Wisconsin right now," Erpenbach said. "The reason why we're doing this is because there are some jurisdictional issues that we'd be dealing with."