Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dane County Judge Ruled GOP Violated Open Meetings Law When Repealling State Employees Collective Bargaining Rights

Judge Maryann Sumi

GOP legislators broke open meetings law and illegally approved stripping most collective bargaining rights from most state employees.

By H. Nelson Goodson
May 26, 2011

Madison - On Thursday, Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi in a 33-page decision ruled that GOP legislators violated the open meetings law on March 9, when they did not give 24 hours notice of a committee meeting held to repeal most collective bargaining rights from state employees. Sumi's decision is a big blow to the Republican controlled legislature and Governor Scott Walker (R).
Sumi wrote that Esmael Ozanne, Dane County District Attorney had "clear and convincing evidence" that state Republican legislators did not give the 24 hour notice required to hold a committee meeting. Legislators are require to follow their own rules, laws, policies and are not exempt, according to Sumi's ruling.
J.B. Van Hollen, the State Attorney General or his office have not released a statement on Sumi's decision. The attorney general's office had argued the GOP legislators had abide by the open meetings laws.
Republicans could continue to appeal Sumi's decision or convene once more and provide the required 24 hours notice needed for a committee meeting to pass Act 10 again.
On June 6, the state Supreme Court will decide, if it will take the case.

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