A Wisconsin judge on Friday halted a controversial state law that would end most public employees' collective bargaining rights, ruling that the manner in which it was pushed through the Legislature violated the state's open-meetings law.
FOR THE RECORD:
Wisconsin unions: An article in Section A on March 19 about a judge suspending a Wisconsin law that limits collective bargaining for most public workers said Assembly Democrats had left the state over the issue. In fact, it was Democrats in the state Senate whose flight to Illinois deprived the majority Republicans of a quorum. —
Wisconsin officials said they would swiftly appeal the ruling by Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi, which came after the Dane County district attorney, a Democrat, filed a civil complaint that the Republican-dominated Legislature had violated state law when it passed the union bill last week.
The bill was held up for three weeks because Democrat senators fled to Illinois to deny the Senate the quorum needed to vote on budgetary measures. Senate Republicans last week took the union language out of Republican Gov. Scott Walker's budget-repair bill and passed it as a separate item that did not require such a quorum.
The measure then went to a conference committee meeting with House Republicans. Sumi found that legislators only provided two hours' advance notice of the meeting, instead of the 24 hours required by state law. She issued a temporary restraining order until she can rule on the case.