In a 33-page decision issued yesterday, Dane County Circuit Court Judge Maryann Sumi overturned the budget “repair” bill passed into law by Republican legislators on March 9, 2011. In their haste to ram through the legislation, which removed virtually all collective bargaining rights for public employees, Republicans were alleged to have failed to provide proper notice to the public that they were convening a conference committee of lawmakers from both houses to approve Walker’s budget-repair bill.
Democratic State Rep. Peter Barca filed a complaint alleging the violation of the state’s open meetings laws after Republicans attending the conference committee held a vote on the budget “repair” bill despite Rep. Barca’s objections during the conference committee.
It’s an absolute certainty that Judge Sumi’s decision isn’t the last time we’ll hear from a judge – or a group of judges – regarding the Republican anti-public employee bill, as on June 6 the state Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments on whether to take the case. It’s also entirely likely Republicans in the legislature will simply include the language of their anti-public employee bill in the biennial state budget, so while Judge Sumi’s decision yesterday was certainly a victory for opponents of the Republican anti-public employee bill, the victory may be short-lived.