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Thursday, July 18, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Dane County Can’t Sue Wisconsin|Over Anti-Union Bill, State Judge Says

(CN) - A Wisconsin judge on Thursday dismissed constitutional claims against the state's controversial anti-union bill. Dane County sued the state in March, claiming Gov. Scott Walker falsely introduced the Budget Repair Bill by claiming it had been stripped "of any fiscal impacts on the State of Wisconsin."

Dane County, home to the state capital, claimed it would suffer irreparable harm "because of certain fiscal portions of the bill that become effective upon publication." It filed an amended complaint on March 30, with new allegations from County Executive Kathleen Falk and County Board Chairman Scott McDonell, both individually and in their official capacities.

But in a 12-page ruling on Thursday, Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi dismissed the county's claims of constitutional violations, but said she would hold Falk and McDonell's individual claims in abeyance.

Sumi agreed with Wisconsin that Dane County, as a governmental unit, lacks standing to challenge the constitutionality of state statutes. She also dismissed the two county executives as plaintiffs in their official capacities.

They may have standing as taxpayers, but the second amended complaint has not yet been accepted for filing.

Two other lawsuits, one filed by two Madison unions and one filed by the state attorney general, still stand. In the attorney general's case on Thursday, the Justice Department filed a stipulation with the state Supreme Court acknowledging that, over its objections, Secretary of State Doug La Follette has chosen Roger Sage as his new counsel.

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