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Wisconsin Asks for Stay to Advance Anti-Union Bill

(CN) - Wisconsin Secretary of State Doug La Follette asked a state judge on Monday to stay the temporary restraining order that prohibits the state from publishing its law stripping public employees of their right to collective bargaining.

La Follette says a stay pending appeal is needed to prevent irreparable injury. Dane County Circuit Court Judge Maryann Sumi issued the restraining order Friday with virtually no written comment.

District Attorney Ismael Ozanne of Dane County, home to the state capital of Madison, had requested the restraining order. Ozanne sued Wisconsin last week on behalf of three elected officials and a union leader. The complaint says that Republican legislators ran an end-around of the state's Open Meetings Law to pass the anti-union measure, Special Session Assembly Bill 11.

Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, signed the bill into law on March 11.

The complainants said the Republican legislators rushed the bill through without required notice.

After Democrats in the House fled the state to deny the Republicans a quorum, Republicans called a meeting of a conference committee and revised AB 11 so it no longer required a quorum, then pushed the bill through both houses.

The bill must be published before it can take effect. It prohibits public employees from engaging in collecting bargaining for anything except wages, and imposes other rules, such as requiring workers to vote every year to recertify the union that represents them.

Judge Sumi had scheduled two injunction hearings on March 29 and April 1, and a hearing over the constitutionality of the bill for April 12.

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