Madison – A Dane County judge has struck down Gov. Scott Walker’s legislation repealing most collective bargaining for public employees.
In a 33-page decision issued Thursday, Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi said she would freeze the legislation because GOP lawmakers on a committee broke the state’s open meetings law in passing it March 9.
The legislation limits collective bargaining to wages for all public employees in Wisconsin except for police and firefighters.
“It’s what we were looking for,” said Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne, a Democrat.
Ozanne sued to block the law after Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) filed a complaint saying that GOP legislative leaders had not given proper notice to the public in convening a conference committee of lawmakers from both houses to approve Walker’s budget-repair bill.
A spokesman for state Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and the state Department of Justice could not be reached immediately for comment on the decision. A spokesman for Walker also could not be immediately reached.
In the decision, Sumi appeared to be bracing for an outcry from Republicans and supporters of the law, noting that judges are supposed to apply the law even if their decisions will be “controversial or unpopular.”