MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin's Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen plans to act quickly in seeking a stay in a court decision that overturns the law repealing most collective bargaining for local government and school district employees.
Van Hollen's spokeswoman Dana Brueck said Monday that Van Hollen early this week will seek the court's permission to keep enforcing the law while legal appeals are pending. She had no more specific information on timing.
Van Hollen promised on Saturday to seek the stay. The decision by Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas came late Friday afternoon.
The ruling overturns the 2011 law for city, municipal and school district employees. The law remains in effect for state workers and those in the University of Wisconsin System.
(WEAU) - Act 10 was at the center of Walker's early agenda to help refinance the state debt to save $165 million dollars.
In a statement, Walker said “The people of Wisconsin clearly spoke on June 5th. Now, they are ready to move on."
Attorney General J.B Van Hollen says he will appeal the decision. He says, "We believe that Act 10 is constitutional in all respects. The law should continue in effect as it has for more than a year,while the appellate courts address the legal issues.”
"I have voted every other month this year since April. It’s a lot," said Christine Legenhagen, Republican.
It’s been a year since protestors stormed the capitol and now the same issue of collective bargaining is back.
"Trying to undo all of that would be an incredible disaster for municipalities across the state for the state itself," said Brian Westrate, E.C Republican Party.
"I strongly disagree with that. If we look at the month before walker became governor. Public workers were willing to do exactly what governor walker wanted them to do," said Beverly Wickstrom, E.C Democratic Party.
One teacher at Pederson Elementary says the judge's ruling gives hope to union workers.
"Union workers do work really hard for our state and I think as collective bargaining was taken away from our inion workers we felt like we were being targeted," said Tammy Vanblarcom, teacher.
Meanwhile some Republicans say their surprised this issue is coming up now, because they already thought it was an issue put to bed.
"June 5th the people of Wisconsin did an entirely new election essentially about this law and added 2 percentage points to Scott Walker's victory," said Westrate.
Westrate says the judge was appointed under Jim Doyle and is therefore liberal. Yet democrats have a different opinion.
"The judge pointed out that this law violates among other things the equal protection clause," said Wickstrom.
Republicans say they will appeal the case and Westrate says he feels the judge's ruling will get turned down by the Supreme Court.
"It was put into the first place in order to provide municipalities in order to live within the budget that they had to live within the means they had," said Westrate.
"I hope the judge's at the court of appeals level and supreme court reasoning will see yes this is the right analysis,” said Wickstrom.
MADISON, Wis. -- A Wisconsin judge on Friday struck down the state law championed by Gov. Scott Walker that effectively ended collective bargaining rights for most public workers.
It was not clear if the ruling means the law is immediately suspended. The law took away nearly all collective bargaining rights from most workers and has been in effect for more than a year.
Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas ruled that the law violates both the state and U.S. Constitution and is null and void. The ruling comes after a lawsuit brought by the Madison teachers union and a union for Milwaukee city employees.
Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie said he was confident the decision will be overturned on appeal.
"We believe the law is constitutional," said Department of Justice spokeswoman Dana Brueck.
Lester Pines, an attorney for Madison Teachers Inc., did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
The proposal was introduced shortly after Walker took office in February last year. It resulted in a firestorm of opposition and led to huge protests at the state Capitol that lasted for weeks. All 14 Democratic state senators fled the state to Illinois for three weeks in an ultimately failed attempt to stop the law's passage from the Republican-controlled Legislature.
Anger over the law's passage led to an effort to recall Walker from office. More than 930,000 signatures were collected triggering the June recall election. Walker won and became the first
governor in U.S. history to survive a recall.
Statement from Gov. Scott Walker:
"The people of Wisconsin clearly spoke on June 5th. Now, they are ready to move on. Sadly a liberal activist judge in Dane County wants to go backwards and take away the lawmaking responsibilities of the legislature and the governor. We are confident that the state will ultimately prevail in the appeals process."
Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Statement on Act 10 Ruling
“As we have said from day one, Scott Walker’s attempt to silence the union men and women of Wisconsin’s public sector was an immoral, unjust and illegal power grab,” said Phil Neuenfeldt, President of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO. “Now, a court has ruled that the essential provisions of Act 10, Scott Walker’s draconian attack on public worker’s right to collectively bargain, is unconstitutional.”
“This is a good day for Wisconsin’s working people and the union movement,” said Stephanie Bloomingdale, Secretary-Treasurer of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO. “When workers choose to join together for mutual aid and protection, their employer should honor their choice, come to the table and discuss wages and working conditions.”