Capitol Chaos: Senate Democrats' Votes Won't Count

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MADISON - Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald announced that votes made by Senate Democrats will not be counted. 

Fitzgerald said they are still in contempt, since they fled the state to avoid a vote on Governor Scott Walker's controversial Budget Repair Bill. 

"You have to live and die by the rules, even though the Democrats don't," said Fitzgerald on Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Morning News."

"Until that first roll call where we actually know that one of them will show up and sit in their chair and actually roll call, they can't vote in committee."

Fitzgerald said the Senators can attend hearings and committee meetings, listen to testimony, debate legislation, and introduce amendments, but cannot vote. 

If they do cast votes, they will not be counted.

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The contempt order will likely be lifted on April 5th, the next time the entire Senate will meet. 

Democratic Senator Chris Larson of Bay View said the move is unfair, and means millions of people statewide won't be represented.

"I think he's crossed the line yet again," Larson said of Fitzgerald. 

"They're going to try and say that the 167,000 people that I represent in the seventh district don't get a voice in committees.  It seems silly."

Larson said the Democratic Senators will meet Tuesday afternoon to investigate whether or not the move is legal. 

Fitzgerald's spokesman said the Republicans will release more information about the move on Tuesday morning.

When asked about the contempt order, Governor Walker said "That's something that's left up to the Senate.  They control their own rules."