Capitol Chaos: Senate Strategics in Illinois

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  • Lauren Leamanczyk reports. Video by wtmj.com

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WOODSTOCK, IL - Wisconsin senators met in Woodstock, Illinois Thursday to discuss strategy.

A senator who was in that meeting tells TODAY'S TMJ4 they believe the now infamous prank call was a game changer that could end this standoff sooner rather than later.

Woodstock is the place where the movie “Groundhog Day was filmed.” After a week of stalemate democrats are having their own version of the story.
 
"It's not fun being here, but at the same time, when we come back is totally up to the governor," said Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton).
 
Erpenbach spoke to TODAYS TMJ4 from Chicago. Other senators met at a private residence near Woodstock. A neighbor shot video of them arriving. Senator Chris Larson was in the meeting and says democrats believe they now have a better chance of convincing senate republicans to break from Governor Walker.
 

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More: 
Click here to read the original budget bill

Click here to see who voted for and against the bill, and who didn't vote

"His honeymoon is over and it really opens up the conversation with our republican colleagues to find a solution to this impasse,” he told Lauren Leamanczyk.
 
While democrats may have hope, the stalemate continues. Walker claims he will lay off 1500 people if the bill is not passed tomorrow.
 
Do you feel any responsibility to come back to Wisconsin to avoid these layoffs?,” Leamanczyk asked Sen. Erpenbach. "No. This is the governor playing poker and he's taking dedicated public servants, like people who teach our kids and people who clean our streets and he's using them like poker chips and it's really kind of disgusting,” he said.
 
Democrats argue that union concessions have given the governor the savings he needs to balance the budget.
 
Democrats believe there are a handful of republicans who are uncomfortable with Walker’s stance on removing collective bargaining rights. They are trying to sway those colleagues.
 
In the meantime, they have no plans to return to their home state without a compromise.