Madison.Com: Judge to decide fate of lawsuit challenging collective bargaining law by week’s end

April 14, 2011- A Dane County judge will decide by the end of the week whether to dismiss Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk’s lawsuit over a new state law limiting collective bargaining for most public employees.

Falk’s lawsuit challenges the law on several fronts, including an alleged open meetings violation by a legislative conference committee, lack of a sufficient quorum by the state Senate when it voted on the conference committee’s bill and the negative impact the law would have on local governments.

In recent weeks the lawsuit has received far less attention than an open meetings lawsuit filed by Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne. That lawsuit is also before Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi and is being appealed to the state Supreme Court.

In court Wednesday, lawyers representing state Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch and state Department of Health Services Secretary Dennis Smith argued to Sumi that the law is not ripe to be challenged because it has yet to take effect.

The reason it hasn’t taken effect is that last month, in the Ozanne lawsuit, Sumi issued a restraining order that temporarily bars implementation of the law and ordered that it not be published in the state’s official newspaper, the final step toward making the measure a law.


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