Wisconsin protesters gather today outside the state capitol.
After two weeks on the run, the Wisconsin Senate passed a resolution Thursday ordering the arrest of the missing state senators. The fourteen Democrats fled the state to avoid voting on Governor Scott Walker's controversial budget repair bill that would strip collective bargaining rights for state workers and require them to pay more for their pension and health care benefits.
The proposed bill has set off a fourteen day protest on the State capitol that peaked last Saturday with over 70,000 protesters, teachers, students, and union employees, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.
No need to call off the cavalry quite yet - it is unclear whether the arrest resolution is even constitutional. According to NBC News research, the Wisconsin constitution does not allow for the arrest of legislators in session. The exception to this is in cases of felony, treason, or breach of the peace.
The clock runs out at 4PM today for the missing senators, tucked away in undisclosed Illinois locations, to return to the state and appear before the Senate. A 19-0 vote by Senate Republicans set the deadline. They also instituted a "call of the house," which means the Senate Sergeant at Arms can take them into custody with or without force and/or the the help of law enforcement. However, that is only in effect if they cross the border back into Wisconsin.
Madonna's Borderline seems like an appropriate song for anyone taking a road trip from Illinois to Wisconsin today.
Time's a ticking...