Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin refused to participate in a special session on Monday, which was called by the Democrat Governor Tony Evers to address police reform.
Evers signed an executive order calling for the special session after the shooting of Jacob Blake by an officer in Kenosha.
According to NPR, the governor’s order can only call for the session, but cannot force lawmakers to participate or vote.
Republican State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said on Friday that senators wouldn’t be attending Monday’s session.
“The riots in Kenosha and Madison this week further demonstrated that first responders are performing their public service duties at great risk to their personal safety,” he said.
Republican State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said, “We have an opportunity to bring people together to find solutions. Instead, the governor is choosing to turn to politics again by dictating liberal policies that will only deepen the divisions in our state.”
But Democrats bashed the Republicans with Democratic Sen. LaTonya Johnson saying it made her “sick to [her] stomach.”
“The question for us, Wisconsin, is when are we going to make Republicans do their jobs, or do we continue to sit idly by and watch this state burn?” she added.
Governor Evers said Thursday, “We’ve got 400 years of systemic racism in this country, and if we don’t do something about it, we’ll be repeating Kenosha in cities all over our country and in our state.”
On Monday, he said, “The people of Wisconsin don’t want another task force or more delays – they want action and results, and they want it today, not tomorrow or some day months down the road.”