Wisconsin Democrats challenge Republican-backed anti-union measure
Democrats in Wisconsin are challenging last night’s vote by Republicans on a standalone measure to pull the right of collective bargaining from state workers. GOPers stripped anti-union provisions out of Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s Budget Repair Bill and quickly passed them by an 18-to-1 vote. But as Greg Sargent at the Washington Post reports, Democrats are asking the Dane County district attorney to look into whether the Republican maneuver violated the state’s Open Meetings Law.
The complaint (pdf) asserts that the public notice for last night’s meeting was “misleading and insufficient to apprise the public and the news media that the majority of the Senate would take a vote to pass the bill, which had not previously passed the Senate.” It also notes that the Senate Parlor where that meeting was held is “not reasonably accessible to members of the public or all citizens” and that the Capitol was locked beforehand, preventing appropriate access, both in violation of state statute.
Democratic Rep. Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) filed the complaint after raising his concerns — and being shouted down — about the possible violation of the Open Meetings Law Wednesday night. “This is clearly a violation of the Open Meetings Law,” Barca shouted before Republicans adjourned the meeting. Here’s video of that exchange: