Wisconsin budget controversy

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The Wisconsin budget controversy of 2011 began when Democrats and Republicans sharply disagreed over the provisions of a budget bill in February. In a dramatic move, 14 Democratic legislators traveled to neighboring Illinois, out of reach of state troopers who could otherwise compel their attendance in a legislative session.[1][2]

  • The Democrats fled to a hotel in Urbana, Ill., to stop votes on the state budget and a slate of labor and education bills, including a "right to work" measure that would have banned all workplaces from requiring union membership or dues.[3]
  • Under the law, the state would also stop withholding union dues from government paychecks and make due payments strictly voluntary. [1]


  1. "The state constitution says lawmakers can be compelled to attend floor sessions." Democrats flee state to avoid vote on budget bill - Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel - Feb. 25, 2011
  2. "Wisconsin law doesn't allow police to arrest the lawmakers." Associated Press
  3. Wisconsin Assembly approves controversial collective-bargaining measure