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Wisconsin Senate Democrat Calls For ‘Border Summit’

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Wisconsin Protest

Chicago workers protest at the state Capitol in Wisconsin. (Credit: CBS)

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MADISON, Wis. (CBS) – The concept of a border summit might suggest an international relations discussion, or a meeting about the immigration debate.

But there might be a border summit coming a short jog to the north of Chicago, to end the Wisconsin budget standoff.

On Monday morning, Wisconsin Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller (D-Monona) asked Gov. Scott Walker for a meeting. It would be a face-to-face talk somewhere the Wisconsin-Illinois state line, Miller said.

All 14 state Senate Democrats have been camped out in Illinois to stall a vote on Walker’s budget plan, which, among other things, would strip collective bargaining rights for unionized state employees.

Republicans have enough votes to approve the measure, but not at least one Democrat must be present in order to establish a quorum to vote on such budget matters.

Late last week, Walker said he would issue pink slips to 1,500 state workers if the Democratic senators didn’t return for the vote, but the senators said they are not backing down.

Republican senators have also voted to find their Democratic colleagues in contempt, a move that means Democrats could be forcibly returned to Madison if they return to Wisconsin. They have suggested sending police out to detain the Democrats and haul them back to Madison.

In Madison, the situation is at a fever pitch. Last week, police tackled Wisconsin State Rep. Nick Milroy (D-South Range) when he tried to enter the capitol after a judge had ordered the building closed to the public.

Milroy said he was trying to get into his office to get his clothes and that both he and the officer who took him to the ground were acting too aggressively.

In Chicago on Saturday, there was intensity at Operation PUSH Headquarters, where two Wisconsin state senators stopped by as guests of Rev. Jesse Jackson, who likened their stand to one he and other civil rights workers fought against segregationist Alabama Gov. George Wallace in the 1960s.

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