Mar 17, 2011

Dane County DA Files Complaint on GOP's Open Meeting Violation, Seeks to Void Legislation

The Republican Party of Wisconsin may find itself subject to the rule of law.

The so-called budget repair bill with its noxious attack on collective bargaining may soon be voided. One thing is certain the apparent violation will be litigated for quite some time.

Ed Treleven of the Wisconsin State Journal does a fine job of summing up the issues:

In a challenge to Republican leaders, Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne has asked a judge to void Gov. Scott Walker's measure to limit collective bargaining for public employees, saying lawmakers violated the state's open meetings law when they pushed the legislation through last week.

In a civil complaint filed Wednesday in Dane County Circuit Court, Ozanne alleges that a joint Assembly-Senate conference committee met without providing the required 24 hours' notice, and that notice of the meeting did not give the public enough information about what would be discussed.

Ozanne also alleges that the space for the meeting, the Senate Parlor, was not large enough to accommodate members of the public and that people who wanted to attend the meeting were barred from entering the Capitol, also in violation of state law.

The complaint also seeks to bar Secretary of State Doug La Follette from publishing the legislation, as he has said he would do on March 25, the last step before it takes effect.

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