Reaction to SCOWIS ruling on collective bargaining law - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Reaction to state Supreme Court's ruling on collective bargaining law

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Lawmakers are reacting to the state Supreme Court's ruling that allows collective bargaining restrictions to go into effect.

Gov. Scott Walker:

"The Supreme Court's ruling provides our state the opportunity to move forward together and focus on getting Wisconsin working again."

Sen. Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) & Rep. Jeff Fitzgerald (R-Horicon):

"The headlines shouldn't be about the procedure, even with this vindication.  Republicans are passing a budget this week that focuses on jobs, improves the economy, permanently freezes property taxes and turns a $3 billion deficit into a $300 million surplus.

"We've been saying since day one that Republicans passed the budget repair bill correctly, so frankly this isn't much of a surprise. We followed the law when the bill was passed, simple as that.

"We're finally headed in the right direction by balancing the budget and focusing on jobs, just like Republicans promised we would do."

Rep. Peter Barca (D-Kenosha):

"Today Wisconsin's tradition of open government took a huge step backward. In a 4 to decision, one justice wrote that the legislative commitment to open government is merely rhetoric."

"The majority of the Supreme Court is essentially saying that the legislature is above the law. It's now clear that unless the constitution is amended the legislature is free to ignore any laws on the books."

"I had hoped the Supreme Court would recognize the importance of our open government tradition and the necessity of public participation in a democracy. I agree with Chief Justice Abrahamson in her dissent when she wrote, ‘By this interpretation, the constitutional right of the people to know what its legislature is doing has been significantly minimized if not eliminated.'

"Apparently both Republican leaders and the Supreme Court majority disagree with my personal belief that government officials should not be above the law. This sets a disturbing precedent that is at odds with Wisconsin's tradition of open and clean government."

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen:

"I filed this Petition for Supervisory Writ to reinforce the separation of powers doctrine. The Court has vindicated our arguments that the Dane County Circuit Court overstepped its Constitutional authority when it sought to invalidate the Budget Repair Bill on the basis of an alleged violation of the Open Meetings Law." 

Dept. of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch:

"The Department of Administration is reviewing the Supreme Court's order and will begin implementing Act 10 when appropriate."

Sen. Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac):

"The Court's ruling simply confirms what we have known all along – the meeting was held legally. The Legislature took all of the proper steps in preparing for and holding the Joint Conference Committee meeting in March. Legislative Fiscal Bureau, Legislative Reference Bureau, and legal counsel were all consulted before the meeting was held, and all told us that the meeting was properly held and the law was passed by legal means."

"I am happy now that the budget adjustment bill is no longer tied up in unnecessary court proceedings, the State can capture the savings this pivotal piece of legislation intended. State and public employees will no longer have to fear impending layoffs that would have been need to fix the substantial budget deficit."

Phil Neuenfeldt, President of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO:

"The inability of the Wisconsin Supreme Court to separate partisan politics from the well-being of Wisconsinites is the latest indication that citizens do not have a voice in this state. And the only way for Wisconsinites to repair that voice is to take back the Senate this summer, stop Walker's unbridled assault on working people and take back the statehouse in 2012.

"Let's be clear: This ruling will not silence the voices of millions of Wisconsinites who are appalled by Walker's extreme choices, his addiction to corporate interests and his insistence on putting the wealthy ahead of the working. In their attempt to steamroll education, healthcare, and funding for seniors programs, Republicans have alienated countless Wisconsin families. Now, more than ever, Wisconsinites across the state are committed to holding Republicans accountable for their bad choices.

"This ruling is an affront to our democracy. Green-lighting the sort of shady, backroom tactics that Governor Walker used to ram his extreme budget through the legislature sets a dangerous precedent for the future of our state. Democracy is the system by which all people, not just corporation and the wealthy, have a seat at the table – but this ruling is just one more indication that Wisconsin Republicans do not believe in a functioning, sound democracy inclusive of checks and balances."

Sen. Mark Miller (D-Monona):

"Republican's misplaced priorities and poor choices have cost our state dearly.  Workers offered to make economic concessions on pensions and benefits that could have saved the state millions of dollars, only asking that they not lose fifty years of workplace rights.

Governor Walker and the legislative Republican's insistence on union busting and taking away workers' rights resulted in months of legal wrangling, unprecedented political divisiveness and millions of dollars of lost budget savings.

Democrats will continue to fight to protect the rights and interest of Wisconsin's middle class and working families as we debate a Republican budget that increases taxes by nearly $70 million on working families and seniors, guts funding for education while cutting corporate taxes over $2.3 billion, forces seniors and persons with disabilities onto waiting lists for services that help them stay in their homes and endangers health care for over 60,000 Wisconsinites."

Sen. Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin):

"I am pleased to see that, finally, three months after Republicans took legislative action, the Wisconsin Supreme Court affirmed those actions," Lazich said.

"The actions of activist judges should not interfere with the legislature. Judge Sumi overstepped her responsibilities with her activist ruling. The Supreme Court ruling is a win for voters electing members to the three branches of government. The ruling is a reaffirmation of separation of powers in Wisconsin."

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