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Thread: Judge voids controversial Wisconsin union law

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    Judge voids controversial Wisconsin union law

    Judge voids controversial Wisconsin union law | Reuters

    (Reuters) - A Wisconsin judge on Thursday voided a controversial Republican-backed law restricting the collective bargaining rights of public sector unions.

    Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi said Republican lawmakers violated the state's open meetings law in rushing the legislation through during massive protests at the state Capitol earlier this year.

    The Wisconsin proposal, championed by Republican Governor Scott Walker, eliminates most collective bargaining rights for public sector unions and requires them to pay more for pensions and health coverage.

    The law has been on hold pending the legal challenge.
    Last edited by BDBoop; 05-26-11 at 12:59 PM.

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    Re: Judge voids controversial Wisconsin union law

    they plan to vote it again as part of the budget... also, it's going up the ladder in the court system. So, the fat lady has not even entered the building yet, let alone sung.

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    Re: Judge voids controversial Wisconsin union law

    So it was only rejected on the basis of how the voting was done? Interesting....
    "Hmmm...Can't decide if I want to watch "Four Houses" or give myself an Icy Hot pee hole enema..." - Blake Shelton


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    Re: Judge voids controversial Wisconsin union law

    Quote Originally Posted by tessaesque View Post
    So it was only rejected on the basis of how the voting was done? Interesting....
    and there is still a question of whether the state open Meetings Law trumps the legislatures own rules and regulations. That is probably how they will proceed as the case goes up the ladder.

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    Re: Judge voids controversial Wisconsin union law

    How very interesting.

    Sumi, who was appointed by former Republican Governor Tommy Thompson, ruled that the evidence was "clear and convincing" that Republicans failed to comply with the law in a hastily called meeting in March to push through legislation containing the collective bargaining changes.

    "The legislators were understandably frustrated by the stalemate existing on March 9, but that does not justify jettisoning compliance with the open meetings law in an attempt to move the budget repair bill to final action," Sumi wrote.

    "Moreover, if there is any doubt as to the committee's awareness of its violation, one need only read the short transcript of the committee's March 9 proceedings."

    Sumi said the legislators had the opportunity to correct their violation without admitting error, but failed to do so.

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    Re: Judge voids controversial Wisconsin union law

    Quote Originally Posted by Whovian View Post
    and there is still a question of whether the state open Meetings Law trumps the legislatures own rules and regulations. That is probably how they will proceed as the case goes up the ladder.
    Ya know...I still have so little respect for those that left the state. That isn't how you handle a problem, ya know? I don't care what your issue is, what side you're on, you don't leave an argument like that when people are expecting you to represent them. Hiding in another state is a cowardly way to handle the issue.
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    Re: Judge voids controversial Wisconsin union law

    From the compliance guide for the WI Open Meetings Law:

    The State of Wisconsin recognizes the importance of having a public informed about governmental
    affairs. The state’s open meetings law declares that:
    In recognition of the fact that a representative government of the American type is
    dependent upon an informed electorate, it is declared to be the policy of this state that the public
    is entitled to the fullest and most complete information regarding the affairs of government as is
    compatible with the conduct of governmental business.
    Wis. Stat. § 19.81(1). 2
    In order to advance this policy, the open meetings law requires that “all meetings of all state and local
    governmental bodies shall be publicly held in places reasonably accessible to members of the public and shall be
    open to all citizens at all times unless otherwise expressly provided by law.” Wis. Stat. § 19.81(2). There is thus
    a presumption that meetings of governmental bodies must be held in open session. State ex rel. Newspapers v.
    Showers, 135 Wis. 2d 77, 97, 398 N.W.2d 154 (1987). Although there are some exemptions allowing closed
    sessions in specified circumstances, they are to be invoked sparingly and only where necessary to protect the
    public interest. The policy of the open meetings law dictates that governmental bodies convene in closed session
    only where holding an open session would be incompatible with the conduct of governmental affairs. “Mere
    government inconvenience is . . . no bar to the requirements of the law.” State ex rel. Lynch v. Conta,
    71 Wis. 2d 662, 678, 239 N.W.2d 313 (1976).
    I'm curious as to whether the safety of the legislature or the inability to work affectively under a raucous audience would in anyway justify removing citizens from the proceedings?
    "Hmmm...Can't decide if I want to watch "Four Houses" or give myself an Icy Hot pee hole enema..." - Blake Shelton


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    Re: Judge voids controversial Wisconsin union law

    Quote Originally Posted by Whovian View Post
    and there is still a question of whether the state open Meetings Law trumps the legislatures own rules and regulations. That is probably how they will proceed as the case goes up the ladder.
    The Wisconsin legislature could have scheduled a revote taking into account the Open Meetings Law, but they didn't for some reason...


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    Re: Judge voids controversial Wisconsin union law

    Also interesting, those in the act of collective bargaining are exempt from public meeting laws

    b. Bodies meeting for collective bargaining.
    The definition of “governmental body” explicitly excludes bodies that are formed for or meeting for the
    purpose of collective bargaining with municipal or state employees under Wis. Stat. ch. 111. A body formed
    exclusively for the purpose of collective bargaining is not subject to the open meetings law. Wis. Stat. § 19.82(1).
    A body formed for other purposes, in addition to collective bargaining, is not subject to the open meetings law
    when conducting collective bargaining. Wis. Stat. § 19.82(1). The Attorney General has, however, advised
    multi-purpose bodies to comply with the open meetings law, including the requirements for convening in closed
    session, when meeting for the purpose of forming negotiating strategies to be used in collective bargaining.
    66 Op. Att’y Gen. 93, 96-97 (1977). The collective bargaining exclusion does not permit any body to consider
    the final ratification or approval of a collective bargaining agreement in closed session. Wis. Stat. § 19.85(3).
    "Hmmm...Can't decide if I want to watch "Four Houses" or give myself an Icy Hot pee hole enema..." - Blake Shelton


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    Re: Judge voids controversial Wisconsin union law

    Quote Originally Posted by tessaesque View Post
    Ya know...I still have so little respect for those that left the state. That isn't how you handle a problem, ya know? I don't care what your issue is, what side you're on, you don't leave an argument like that when people are expecting you to represent them. Hiding in another state is a cowardly way to handle the issue.
    it was a strategy ... that appears to have worked
    i think the republicans were cowards for refusing to negotiate a better contract and instead used their power to effect an illegal statute prohibiting public union rights
    we are negotiating about dividing a pizza and in the meantime israel is eating it
    once you're over the hill you begin to pick up speed

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