A law to limit collective bargaining rights for public workers in Wisconsin was unexpectedly published by a state agency on Friday despite a temporary restraining order barring publication, sparking confusion and more animosity among legislators who have fiercely debated the issue for weeks.
State officials disagreed over whether publication of the law — a procedural requirement — would allow it to be in force on Saturday. The state’s Legislative Reference Bureau said it is required to publish all laws within 10 days after they are enacted. Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, signed the bill on March 11, but a county judge issued an order last week blocking the secretary of state from publishing it. The order did not bar the legislative bureau from publishing the law.
Democrats argued on Friday that the law would not go into effect on Saturday because it still required official publication by the secretary of state.
“This bill has been under a cloud of suspicion since Day 1,” Peter Barca, a Democrat and minority leader of the General Assembly, said in a statement. “Today’s actions and statements are only perpetuating the problem.”
But Republicans said they believed the law would take effect on Saturday. Senator Scott Fitzgerald, a Republican and the majority leader, said publishing the law was the right thing to do and the Legislature could now focus on the budget.
“I believe, as of this afternoon, it’s published, it’s law, and we can move forward,” Mr. Fitzgerald said in an interview.
Uh, yeah. We shall see how that goes. Even Hot Air isn't buying this:
Democrats are surely on their way back to court even as you’re reading this to demand that the TRO be expanded to cover the LRB, Walker, the legislature, and everyone else under the sun. The judge did, after all, enjoin “further implementation” of the law generally before specifying a particular actor, so they’ll probably win and the scope of the order will be enlarged.
Any sane reading of the court order should have been enough to reach this conclusion, but when Walker and Co. is involved you never pass up an opportunity to act thuggish.
I'll tell you something else as well... in the long run I don't think Walker will accomplish anything. If anything public service unions will be more entrenched in ten years time not less. For starters there will be more of them. University faculty across the state have been rushing to unionize. Sure, they may be curtailed in the short run, but you'd have to be kinda crazy to believe Republicans will somehow monopolize state politics in Wisconsin for very long. Eventually Democrats will get back in and undo what Walker implemented, but that won't be the status quo
because of the new union members created in direct response to Walker's agenda.
Walker has been betting from day one that this past election represented a realignment. It wasn't. All indications are Walker's term will be at best severely humbled and at worst an unmitigated disaster.