Wisconsin State Supreme Court to hear Act 10 arguments

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by Chris Patterson

MADISON -- The Wisconsin State Supreme Court are hearing arguments regarding the legality of portions of Act 10, known as the collective bargaining law. This is the latest chapter in a two year battle between public unions and state lawmakers who voted to limit collective bargaining for public unions.

Wisconsin's collective bargaining law was the subject of a political fight over the 2011-2013 budget proposed by Governor Scott Walker. The law prohibits public employee unions from negotiating anything, but base pay with municipal employers. The law also makes paying union dues optional for public employees.

The controversial law led to lawsuits from several organizations, but the Wisconsin State Supreme Court chose to take up the legal challenge made by Madison Teachers Inc.

Previously a Dane County Circuit Judge ruled parts of the restrictions are unconstitutional as they apply to a Milwaukee public workers union, and a Madison teachers union.

This is the first time the Wisconsin State Supreme Court will judge the collective bargaining law itself. The last time the law was before the court, they examined if lawmakers legally passed the law. They found the actions of lawmakers were legal.

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