Wisconsin Collective Bargaining Bill Becomes Law, Despite Court Hold

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?

Wisconsin Capitol Building

From Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

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.

Big Government:

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.

Read about Sumi’s son, Jacob “Jake” Sinderbrand at Big Government.

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?

Thanks to Memeorandum for linking. Check out their conversation here.


  • Well this is an interesting twist. What happens in Wisconsin will resonate throughout the rest of the nation Maggie. We need to continue to monitor this.

    • John, I think we are going to face the most absurd protests from Progressives. The next year and a half will likely gray our hair.

  • The Wisconsin Secretary of State did not publish the law. The pending litigation from the People’s Republic of Madison threw a wrench in the gearbox so to speak. The Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau published the law with curious consequences. Scott Fitzgerald seems to be under the impression the law is ‘in effect.’ Others may differ on the situation. All this Wisconsin blogger can say is it appears nothing is certain from where I sit.

    That said I am still optimistic Wisconsin will continue to play a role in fixing what ails our nation. That is if we can defeat progressives and other liberals whose only intention is to continue down the road to socialism. And no, I’m not being melodramatic. I have lived here my entire life. Liberals are crazy.

    • Stanford, Fitzgerald asked the LRB to publish it after he “researched the statutes.” He did say he considered it law today. You can bet others will differ.

      I think the Senate has the opportunity to get around this by simply voting on it again. They have the votes. If the Dems want to run again, they can do so because their vote won’t make a difference now that it’s been stripped out of the budget repair bill.

      I hear a firefighters union is suing, saying that it does have fiscal repercussions and it wasn’t legal to strip it out.

      I think your state has taken a brave step and I believe Walker is in it to win it.

  • Dan

    I honestly don’t see how you think that what they’re doing to Unions is going to fix anything. The government/politicians both republican and democrat are be people that got us in the deficit but of course they need someone to point the finger at, and those people are the hardworking blue collar americans of the USA.

    Maggie, being that you’re a woman I would think you would like the idea of unions. Equal pay for equal work. But I guess you’re ok with women in 2011 getting paid 80-85% of what a man does for doing the same job. Also feel free to give up your paid vacation, paid time off, insurance and retirement that the unions originally fought for. If it wasn’t for unions, we would all be working 18 hours a day 7 days a week.

    I work for a private Unionized shop in Illinois, if I was non-union I would be making less than half of what I do now. The company I work for has the choice to fire us all and go with non-union labor if they weren’t making enough money but they seem to be doing pretty damn good for themselves even in this economy.

    • Hi Dan, I’ve had a long business career and have owned two businesses. I never gave a thought to not being able to do what I wanted to do.

      The claim of equal pay for equal work doesn’t wash today. We have laws and we have courts that no one is shy about using. Today, Unions are a fundraising arm for the Democrat party. If you are not ashamed of the billions funneled to Unions, and the disgraceful way retirement and leaves are handled, then I don’t know what you are thinking.

      When you talk about the hardworking blue collar Americans, you surely know that their benefits are paid by a hard-working American like me.

      I applaude your success and if your union is not a bottom-feeder, that’s good news. I know they are not all such.

      I do believe that Union reform is desperately needed. The next time I hear of a teacher molesting a student and being paid full salary and benefits to never show up again, I’ll begin thinking they should be out-lawed totally, which I do not think at this moment.

      Give up the quest for card-check and give up the fight against Right to Work, stop teaching Leftist ideology in our schools and I’ll soften my stance. If you need card-check and you want to abolish Right to Work, something is wrong with the Union label.

  • Dan

    I should have started out saying this. I’m not a Democrat or a Republican, i’m independent. There are some issues I agree with on both sides and then there are the others I don’t agree with. This hatred between the parties is ridiculous. Do you ever wonder how much of what you see on the news and read is just a bunch of propaganda? It seems to me that it’s to the point now where democrats and republicans are out to get one another just for the sake of hating eachother. If this continues we will never be able to accomplish anything as a country united.

    As far as the union fundraising for Democrats yes that does happen but Republicans are just as culpable. It seems that all politicians are bought out by interest groups to put laws in effect that benefit those groups. Face it, politicians don’t care about me or you. The only thing that matters is our vote when the next election comes around and the hundreds of thousands of dollars they’ll get from the next interest group.

    I just don’t agree with saying these workers make too much money while huge tax breaks are being given to corporations. These are people making a modest living doing the work that most people don’t want to do and used collective bargaining to get paid a fair wage and pay taxes just like you. It’s not like these people all drive BMW’s down to their beach house every month.