Wisconsin Governor Walker Gives Absent Democratic Legislators 24 Hours to Return for Budget Vote

Gov. Scott Walker has a message for the 14 Democrats who fled Wisconsin: Come back by tomorrow and vote on the controversial budget bill, or "the state loses out on the chance to refinance debt, saving taxpayers $165 million this fiscal year," says his rep in a statement today. That would only mean "more painful and aggressive spending cuts in the very near future," the statement continues.

Walker's budget proposal has sparked nationwide protests from labor unions who fear it could be a harbinger of things to come in other states. To balance the state's budget, Walker wants to require public sector employees to pay more for pensions and health care, and to strip their unions of bargaining rights except for wages up to the rate of inflation.