Judge blocks Wisconsin bargaining law

March 18, 2011 at 3:08 PM
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MADISON, Wis., March 18 (UPI) -- A Wisconsin judge Friday temporarily blocked Gov. Scott Walker from enforcing a law limiting collective bargaining rights for public employees.

Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi said following a hearing that a challenge to the law is likely to succeed, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne argued that the Legislature violated the state's Open Public Meetings Act when the law was passed.

Walker signed the law March 11, two days after the Republican majority in the Legislature stripped fiscal measures from the bill to allow a vote without a quorum. Senate Democrats had fled the state for Illinois to deny the governor the number of people needed in the Senate to consider fiscal bills.

Ozanne said the conference committee that changed the bill met without the notice required by law: 24 hours for most meetings and 2 hours in emergencies. He said the situation was not an emergency and that there was, in any case, inadequate notice of the meeting.

Protests organized by public employee meetings drew hundreds and sometimes thousands of demonstrators to Madison while the bill was being considered.

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