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After an exhausting three-week stalemate, Wisconsin Republicans maneuvered late Wednesday to curb collective bargaining for public-sector workers, passing an amended budget-repair bill by an 18–1 vote in the state senate. The surprise legislative gambit stunned labor activists, who have flocked to Madison in recent weeks, and stymied the 14 Democratic state senators who fled to Illinois on February 17 in protest of Gov. Scott Walker’s budget proposal.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fydX7jyHJ6I&feature=player_embedded#at=22

“The Senate Democrats have had three weeks to debate this bill and were offered repeated opportunities to come home, which they refused,” Walker said following the vote, which occurred on short notice in the early evening. He hailed the effort as a necessary step toward closing the state’s $3.6 billion budget deficit.

Until Wednesday, the Democrats’ absence had denied Republicans a quorum on Walker’s plan, which also includes reforms of pension and health-care contributions for state workers. But after negotiations between senate leaders stalled, Walker, according to sources, urged senate Republicans to move forward Wednesday during a closed-door meeting. With little debate, Republicans agreed to repackage the bill into a non-appropriation measure, setting off a series of legislative procedures that pushed the revamped bill to the floor within hours.

State senator Alberta Darling, the Republican chairman of the Joint Finance Committee, tells National Review Online that she and her colleagues held their ground even as the roars under the rotunda grew louder by the hour. “Governor Walker told us that he had tried to negotiate, but Democrats refused. We had to get the job done.” By moving the collective-bargaining section of his budget bill “off of the table,” Darling says, Walker hoped to bring the Democrats home, as soon as possible, to address other pressing fiscal matters.

With his colleagues’ backing, senate majority leader Scott Fitzgerald, a Republican, brought the bill into conference committee, where legislators pruned the plan’s fiscal elements during the late afternoon. Republicans kept the collective-bargaining provision as the bill’s keystone, but gutted language related to debt refinancing, for instance, therefore bypassing the state constitution’s quorum requirements for fiscal legislation.

In a bit of political theater, Rep. Peter Barca, the Democratic leader in the assembly, shouted at Fitzgerald as he initiated the mark-up, calling it a violation of the state’s open-meetings law. But the bill, to Barca’s vocal dismay, was stamped with the committee’s approval and hustled to the chamber. What remained, though similar to Walker’s original outline, required a simple majority. It easily passed at around 6 p.m., with one only one member of the 19-strong GOP caucus, moderate senator Dale Schultz, objecting.

Mayhem engulfed the state capitol following the vote. Thousands of protesters streamed into the four wings of the historic white-granite building, screaming at the GOP lawmakers, who were quickly escorted out by police. College students from the University of Wisconsin’s Madison campus mingled with union leaders, teachers raised fists with progressive organizers. Cries of “Shame!” echoed throughout the marble halls.

Senate Republicans were harried by swarming crowds. “We tried to get out of the building after the vote, because they were rushing the chamber, and we were escorted by security through a tunnel system to another building. But, after being tipped off by a Democrat, they mobbed the exit at that building, and were literally trying to break the windows of the cars we were in as we were driving away,” Republican senator Randy Hopper tells NRO. Such tactics, he sighs, were hardly unexpected. “I got a phone call yesterday saying that we should be executed. I’ve had messages saying that they want to beat me with a billy club.”

Senate Democrats are expected to return to Madison on Thursday to tangle with Republicans as the bill heads to the state assembly, where Republicans hold a solid majority. Rep. Michelle Litjens, a GOP state representative, predicts that she and her colleagues will complete final passage. “Wisconsin needs this to be over,” she says. “We tried to negotiate and the senators never came back. We just have to get this done.”

Still, the fight could last days, especially if Democrats mount an all-out effort to filibuster via debate in the lower chamber. Outside groups are pitching in: Eight Republican senators are facing recall campaigns, and hordes of union members with signs and colorful T-shirts continue to arrive in Madison. On Wednesday night, jolted by the vote, irate Democrats already had their fists raised. “In 30 minutes, 18 state senators undid 50 years of civil rights in Wisconsin,” said Sen. Mark Miller, the Democratic leader, in an interview with the Associated Press. “Their disrespect for the people of Wisconsin and their rights is an outrage that will never be forgotten.”

Despite his misgivings, Miller acknowledges that Walker’s bill is now set to become law. “It’s a done deal,” he said. Republican Darling, however, remains worried about how the drama will unfold in Madison — especially if the protesters continue to occupy, and nearly control, the state capitol. “It’s like we are in a foreign country or in Chicago during the 1920s and 1930s,” she says. “I have had death threats. I have had my home protected by our local police. That’s not the America I know.”

For now, state Republicans are optimistic. As the jeers increase and the recalls pick up speed, they are determined to pass Walker’s bill. “Look, from Day One, the [unions] have been threatening physical violence and political recalls,” Hopper says. “But it’s more important for us to do our jobs than keep our jobs. This is not something that we are going to run our next political campaign on. This is something that we are going to tell our grandchildren about, that we fixed the state for them.”

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/261812/endgame-wisconsin-robert-costa?page=1
 

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ahh yes, they are just trying to protect their rights....with violence? sounds like they are worried about losing political power....and the dems are going to suffer for this come '12 especially with the escalating violence on their behalf
 

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Blocked!
 

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not exactly, a TRO is a short term halt until the judge can consider the facts of the case. The TRO will be lifted, and the sec of state will be ordered to publish the bill. IMO the gov/legislature should be asking for his resignation for refusing to publish it in the first place.
 

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not exactly, a TRO is a short term halt until the judge can consider the facts of the case. The TRO will be lifted, and the sec of state will be ordered to publish the bill. IMO the gov/legislature should be asking for his resignation for refusing to publish it in the first place.
Probably won't be temporary. Pubs violated the law in passing.

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MADISON, Wis. - The monthlong saga over Gov. Scott Walker's plan to drastically curb collective bargaining rights for public workers in Wisconsin took a turn Friday that could force a dramatic rebooting of the entire legislative process.

A judge temporarily blocked the law from taking effect, raising the possibility that the Legislature may have to vote again to pass the bill that attracted protests as large as 85,000 people, motivated Senate Democrats to escape to Illinois for three weeks and made Wisconsin the focus of the national fight over union rights.

But Walker's spokesman and Republican legislative leaders indicated they would press on with the court battle rather than consider passing the bill again.

"We fully expect an appeals court will find that the Legislature followed the law perfectly and likely find that today's ruling was a significant overreach," Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and his brother, Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald, said in a joint statement. "We highly doubt a Dane County judge has the authority to tell the Legislature how to carry out its constitutional duty."

Dane County District Judge Maryann Sumi granted the temporary restraining order in response to a lawsuit filed by the local Democratic district attorney, alleging that Republican lawmakers violated the state's open meetings law by hastily convening a special committee before the Senate passed the bill.

Sumi said her ruling would not prevent the Legislature from reconvening the committee with proper notice and passing the bill again.

In addition to restricting the bargaining rights, the law would require most public workers in the state to contribute more to their pension and health care costs, changes that will amount on average to an 8 percent pay cut. Walker's spokesman Cullen Werwie was confident the bill would become law in the near future.

"This legislation is still working through the legal process," Werwie said.

Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said the decision will be appealed because the Legislature and the governor, not a judge, are responsible for enacting laws and can't be blocked in a dispute over the procedures under which a law is passed. His spokesman Bill Cosh said an appeal would be filed Monday.

Even if the Legislature is forced to come back and take up the bill again, at least one Senate Democrat will be there. Sen. Tim Cullen said he would not leave the state again.

"I think that does great damage to the institution," Cullen said. "I have no regrets about doing it once, but that was in extraordinary times to try to slow the bill down."

The Senate couldn't pass the bill in its original form without at least one Democrat to meet a 20-member quorum requirement for measures that spend money. With the Democrats in Illinois and refusing to return after three weeks away, Republicans convened a special committee last Wednesday to remove the spending items. The bill then passed with no Democrats present.

That move is being challenged in another lawsuit brought by Democratic Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, who argues that the bill as passed still should have required the 20-member quorum. A hearing on that was set for April 12.

Opponents of the law were hopeful the judge's ruling temporarily blocking enactment of the law would lead to concessions.

"I would hope the Republicans would take this as an opportunity to sit down with Democrats and negotiate a proposal we could all get behind," said Democratic Sen. Jon Erpenbach.

The head of the state's largest teachers union said the Legislature should use this as a chance to listen to opponents of the measure, not vote to pass the same bill again.

"Wisconsin's educators call upon the Legislature to take this as a clear signal that Wisconsinites will not tolerate backroom deals and political power plays when it comes to our public schools and other valued services," said Mary Bell, president of the Wisconsin Education Association Council.

Marty Beil, director of the state's largest public employee union, said in a statement, "We are gratified to see some of our so-called `leaders' finally held accountable for their illegal actions."

Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne filed the lawsuit this week alleging the open meetings law was violated because 24 hours' notice wasn't given for a meeting of the special legislative committee convened to amend the bill.

Justice Department attorneys argued that notice on a bulletin board posted about two hours before the committee meeting was to start last Wednesday was sufficient under rules of the Senate.

The judge said DOJ couldn't show the committee was exempt from the 24-hour notice requirement. She said Ozanne could ultimately win the case and ordered Secretary of State Doug La Follette to hold off on publishing the law — the last step before it can take effect. La Follette had planned to publish the law on March 25.
 

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wether it was legal or not, will depend on if the judge says it was a special session. If it WAS a special session, the law stands. simple as that. with a special session, no advanced notice is required- 2 hrs was given.
 

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wether it was legal or not, will depend on if the judge says it was a special session. If it WAS a special session, the law stands. simple as that. with a special session, no advanced notice is required- 2 hrs was given.
That's not how it goes, but either way, it was not a special session. It was during the regular legislative season.
 

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you can have a special session within the regular legislative session. gotta read the lawbook as many of us from WI have
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That's not how it goes, but either way, it was not a special session. It was during the regular legislative season.
No, that's not true, as is usual from you.

The new law would not affect collective bargaining agreements that are already in place, which is fueling the decision by unions to reach deals as quickly as possible.

The law ends collective bargaining for public workers over everything except salary increases no greater than inflation. It also forces state workers to make benefit concessions that amount to an 8% pay cut on average.
The Senate couldn't pass the bill in its original form without at least one Democrat to meet a 20 member requirement... for measures that spend money. They convened a special committee and remove the spending items. The bill then passed without need for the 20 member requirement.

Absolutely league. The judge overreached her powers.
 

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You only say that because you disagree with her. ANY judge has the right to halt implementation of ANY law when a case is filed against it. That is not overreaching. That's fiduciary responsibility.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Probably won't be temporary. Pubs violated the law in passing.
You were proven incorrect here.

You only say that because you disagree with her. ANY judge has the right to halt implementation of ANY law when a case is filed against it. That is not overreaching. That's fiduciary responsibility.
No law was violated. If no law was violated... she issued an order that was beyond her constitutional obligation in protecting the same. It is an overreach.
 

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You were proven incorrect here.



No law was violated. If no law was violated... she issued an order that was beyond her constitutional obligation in protecting the same. It is an overreach.
Neither of these statements is remotely true. That you seem to think they are has me worried that you are slipping even deeper into fanatic fundamentalism every day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Debunk them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hey, bro... hows this for support to my "overreaching" claim ?

Sumi refuses to declare work stoppage a strike

In February 2011, in the middle of a statewide debate regarding labor unions' collective bargaining, Judge Sumi refused the Madison School District's request to send teachers back to work. The district asked the judge to impose a temporary restraining order to bar teachers from participating in further work stoppages. It referred to the teachers' protests in the capital as a strike, which are illegal under state law. The judge refused to categorize the work stoppage as a strike and said that the district could not prove irreparable harm had been caused by the teachers.
http://judgepedia.org/index.php/Maryann_Sumi
 

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I would like to know, as long as the liberal judges are going to dragg the outcome , why dont (now that the 14 Dems are back) Monday morning after 20 senators show up, lock the doors and have a re-vote on this law :surprised
 

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I would like to know, as long as the liberal judges are going to dragg the outcome , why dont (now that the 14 Dems are back) Monday morning after 20 senators show up, lock the doors and have a re-vote on this law :surprised
From the original post:

That move is being challenged in another lawsuit brought by Democratic Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, who argues that the bill as passed still should have required the 20-member quorum. A hearing on that was set for April 12.
It is not uncommon for the Judicial branch to halt the implementation of a law. Just look at the ObamaCare bill. Several AG's have sued to stop its implimentation. Democtrats have brought this issue to the front and center of Wisconsin politics and the republicans are suffering because of it.
 

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It is not uncommon for the Judicial branch to halt the implementation of a law. Just look at the ObamaCare bill. Several AG's have sued to stop its implimentation. Democtrats have brought this issue to the front and center of Wisconsin politics and the republicans are suffering because of it.
It is to uncommon and seldom used (rare). I feel it is BS that judges are ruling on "feelings" intead of law all for the political gain :spanked: This judge that has put forth this temporary holding did not site any law but had "Feelings" that it needs further review befor implementation.:WTF

As far as the "Qarum" rule, only one Democrate is contesting this. just another stall tactic, because you and the Dems know they are going to lose on this bill :surprised
 

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It is to uncommon and seldom used (rare). I feel it is BS that judges are ruling on "feelings" intead of law all for the political gain :spanked: This judge that has put forth this temporary holding did not site any law but had "Feelings" that it needs further review befor implementation.:WTF

As far as the "Qarum" rule, only one Democrate is contesting this. just another stall tactic, because you and the Dems know they are going to lose on this bill :surprised
She isnt using feelings and emotions. She is using law, specifically the open meetings law.

Wisconsin's open meetings law requires 24 hours' public notice of meetings, or two hours in emergencies. Ozanne argued the emergency standard did not apply and that even if it did, the meeting didn't follow the law because the conference committee met with less than two hours' notice.
What emergancy did collective bargaining rights pose to the state? Keep in mind that the language was first part of a normal bill written months ago that had no need to be passed immediately.

IMO republicans can win this battle right now and enact this bill, but the voters will make their decision later this year. That will show who the true winners and losers are.
 

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Two hours into the hearing, Judge Sumi agreed. She said she was given no evidence why a legislative committee didn't give 24-hour notice before it rushed to amend and pass the budget repair bill.

"How can a minor -- or what could be viewed as a minor -- failure of notice really stop this bill in its tracks? And my answer to that is, it's not minor," Judge Sumi said.

"We here in Wisconsin own our government. We own it," she said. "We own it in the sense that we are entitled to bylaw to free and open access to governmental meetings."

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says the State will appeal, and Governor Walker said he's confident the law will take effect, while Democrats hailed the system for what it called "well-placed checks and balances."

"We felt very strongly, as you know, from the very moment this came forward that it was a violation of the Open Meetings Law," Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca said. "The joint rules obviously apply when joint committees meet, and we're just very pleased and gratified that our system's checks and balances are well in place in Wisconsin."

Attorney General Van Hollen, in a statement to the media, said Supreme Court decisions say judges cannot prevent the Secretary of State from publishing bills and also say injunctions can't be given over claims that legislative procedures were violated, "even one as important as the Open Meetings Law."

The judge's decision does not prevent lawmakers from giving proper notice and reconvening the joint conference committee meeting in the coming days.

"Regards to the process that was used, we'll have to look at what the legal ramifications are. The bottom line is, the law itself will be intact, whether it's in the short term or the longer term. One way or another, the law will be effective. It's just a question is just the process," Governor Walker said during a stop in LaCrosse.

Locally, a spokesman for Republican Senator Rob Cowles of Allouez says he's been advised not to comment since it's an ongoing legal case.


But Democratic Senator Dave Hansen of Green Bay is speaking. "It's significant in that it tells you there are checks and balances in place, and for democracy to be protected, Open Meeting Law is there for a reason."

Judge Sumi said further hearings are needed to determine if the violations of the Open Meetings Law were serious enough to void the law. The next hearing for the case is scheduled for March 29.
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The State of Wisconsin filed its appeal Monday to a temporary restraining order against publishing Governor Walker's amended budget repair bill -- and preventing it from becoming law.

The bill affects collective bargaining and union re-ceritification for many state and public workers.

The Dane County Executive filed a lawsuit to block publishing the bill, which the governor signed.

In its appeal, the State says Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi had no power to strike down a bill before it was published into law.

Judge Sumi said the Legislature violated the Open Meetings Law when it convened a special committee to amend and pass the budget repair bill. Republican legislative leaders say they did nothing wrong and they believe the bill will stand up to legal challenges.

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BTW, the union members in Oshkosh are finding it more difficult to get the required signitures for a recall on the Republican Senators Robert Cowles and Randy Hopper. But in Green bay the non union members are saying they already have half the number of votes to recall Democratic Senator Dave Hansen
 
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