Walker, DOA say budget repair bill is law - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Walker, DOA say budget repair bill is law


By Colby Robertson - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MADISON (WKOW) -- State officials begin implementing the controversial collective bargaining bill as a law. As of Monday, The Department of Administration already started enacting the law taking away collective bargaining rights.

DOA Secretary Mike Huebsch says their work has already started and state workers will see deductions in their first paycheck April 21st.

DOA Secretary Mike Huebsch says, "There will be withholdings now for healthcare & pension for employees and we will also be restoring the union dues that are currently involuntarily withheld, so those functions have been done."

The payroll cycle that is affected began Sunday March 27th. State workers will get one paycheck April 7th that is not affected by the new law, but April 21st they'll see the deductions.

AFSCME Council 24 Executive Director Marty Beil says, "It's devastating for state workers because all their protection on the job whether it's health and safety or layoff protections or transfer rights or overtime, that would evaporate."

Marty Beil is Executive Director of the state's largest worker's union, AFSCME Council 24. His council represents 22,000 state workers, all who would be directly affected, but he says they're approaching this as if it has no effect.

The city of Madison is doing the same. Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz says, "City Attorney's opinion is that what the LRB did on Friday evening has no force of law what-so-ever. WIthout the blessing of the Secretary of State, simply publishing the law has no effect."

Mayor Cieslewicz signed contract extensions with more than 2,000 employees in February. But, he says 400 workers are not represented by the union, so if the law is in effect, it would impact them immediately.

Until something is decided in the courts, those 400 city workers will not see deductions from their paychecks. City Attorney Mike May has advised the mayor to not take any steps to implement the provisions of Act 10 until there is a court order establishing the law is in effect.

Both Cieslewicz and Beil are holding out that a judge will rule the Secretary of State Doug La Follette still needs to publish the law for it to take effect.

But DOA Secretary Huebsch says they're going to continue to move forward unless a judge rules otherwise.

Mike Huebsch says, "This is not the desire of me as DOA Secretary to go forward without clear direction. I believe I have clear direction as guided by the statute as to what my responsibility is, but if a court says otherwise, we will certainly follow that."

MADISON (WKOW) -- Friday, Governor Scott Walker's administration said they will move forward as if the law taking away collective bargaining rights is in effect.

The controversial budget repair bill was published by the Legislative Reference Bureau on its website Friday, March 25. Typically, a law goes into effect one day after it is published in the state newspaper.

A temporary restraining order by Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi is preventing Secretary of State Doug La Follette from publishing the law. Saturday, La Follette told 27 News that without his signature the act is not law.

A spokesperson with the Department of Administration has yet to return any phone calls regarding the implementation of the law.

The Office of State Employee Relations (OSER) has the following statement on their website:  

The Budget Repair Bill will become effective on the day following the date of publication of the Act. The health insurance premium and retirement contribution provisions will be effective March 27, 2011.

Watch 27 News at 5, 6 and 10 for the latest on this story.

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