As expected, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen Tuesday filed a motion to stay the latest decision about Act 10, the collective bargaining law.
Last Friday, Dane County Circuit Court Judge Juan Colas ruled that parts of Act 10 are unconstitutional because the law violates the guarantee of freedom of speech and citizens' freedom of association. Colas also determined that Act 10 does not offer equal protection under the law because it creates a separate class of state workers.
In his motion to the Dane County Circuit Court, Van Hollen outlines his belief that the decision will be overturned on appeal. Until the appellate court rules, Van Hollen believes a stay is appropriate to avoid any confusion for municipalities and school districts that have negotiated contracts based on the rules of the collective bargaining law.
“Act 10 addressed real and significant financial problems faced by local governments. It makes no sense to force a return to a broken system before the appellate process is completed," he said in a written statement to media.
The decision comes after the Madison teachers union and a Milwaukee city employee union filed suit. Colas' decision comes after US District Judge William Conley upheld parts of Act 10, but also declared portions of the law unconstitutional. In Conley's ruling, he rejected the equal protection argument, but he also ordered that automatic dues withdrawals be reinstated by May 31 because public safety employee unions are not held to the same standards.
After Colas' decision was announced, Gov. Scott Walker issued a statement saying he is confident this latest set-back will be overruled on appeal.
"The people of Wisconsin clearly spoke on June 5," Walker wrote. "Now, they are ready to move on. Sadly a liberal activist judge in Dane County wants to go backwards and take away the lawmaking responsibilities of the legislature and the governor. We are confident that the state will ultimately prevail in the appeals process."