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Dane County Judge Rules CB Law Void

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MADISON, Wis. (WSAU) – A Dane County judge has thrown out a bill lawmakers passed in March that limits collective bargaining rights for public union employees.

Judge Maryann Sumi ruled that the Legislature's Joint Committee of Conference violated the state Open Meetings law when it met with less than two hours notice and passed the bill on March 9.

The state Supreme Court will hear oral arguments next month on whether to hear the same case.

Sumi ruled the Open Meetings law applies to legislative meetings and there was no valid exemption for the requirement that meeting notices be posted 24 hours in advance.

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

Republicans in control of the state Legislature have waited for Sumi's ruling to decide how they'll move forward. They may vote to include limits on collective bargaining in the next two-year state budget.

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