Today, March 25th, was the day the Wisconsin Attorney General was obligated to publish the new law restricting the state’s collective bargaining. Judge Maryann Sumi has placed a temporary hold on the legislation, and scheduled a hearing on March 29th. The Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB) published the bill and the big question: is it now law, or is it not?
The legislation was published Friday to the Legislature’s website with a footnote that acknowledges the restraining order by a Dane County judge. But the posting says state law “requires the Legislative Reference Bureau to publish every act within 10 working days after its date of enactment.”
We can expect big crowds at the Madison, Wisconsin Capitol building this weekend. Progressives are howling…maybe crowds on both sides of the political aisle turn out. Democrats say the proper time period for public review was not allowed. Republicans say they were in special session and their two-hour notice was sufficient. All of this as a result of every single Democrat senator (14 of them) fleeing across state lines for some three weeks. During that time they did not show up to work. The Senate leader declared them in-contempt of the Senate. The people spoke in November, but Democrats have no respect and no shame.
Judge Maryann Sumi’s son has been revealed to be an SEIU and AFL-CIO political operative, adding fuel to the fire of those trying to save their state from financial disaster. Find more information about the court ordered restraining order here.
This is a problem. Judge Maryann Sumi should have recused herself entirely from the Wisconsin battle due to her inability to be neutral in this case. You see, Maryann Sumi has a clear conflict of interest. Her son is a political operative who also happens to be a former lead field manager with the AFL-CIO and data manager for the SEIU State Council. Both the SEIU and the AFL-CIO have members who are public-sector employees in Wisconsin. In fact, as a federation, the AFL-CIO can boast of several member-unions that represent public-sector employees. Maryann Sumi is hardly an unbiased judge in the matter.
However, the good news for the rowdy union bunch is, an official from the Legislative Reference Bureau says the publishing will “forward it to the secretary of state.” The LRB says this does not make the legislation law, and further says the secretary of state must publish it in the newspaper.
The bad news is Senator Scott Fitzgerald (R) said it will become law tomorrow (Saturday) – “it’s published.” “It’s law.” The Legislative Reference Bureau official said Senator Fitzgerald asked him to publish after reading the state statutes.
Wisconsin state law is usually published in the Wisconsin State Journal, and that hasn’t happened. The Journal says it was scheduled, but the run has been canceled. Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion has more on the the Legislative Reference Bureau and the question, does this become law?