MADISON, WI (WSAU) - Wisconsin’s Act 10 passed last year is the law that limits the ability of unions to bargain. Recently, parts of that new law have been blocked by judges. The Honorable Juan Colas of Dane County ruled the law violated workers' constitutional rights to free speech, free association and equal representation under the law by capping union workers' raises but not those of their nonunion counterparts.
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has filed a stay of Judge Colas’ ruling, but that was denied. Van Hollen says he carefully reviewed the law before it was passed and is confident he will prevail in the appeals process. "I have every confidence in the world that this law is very, very lawful and constitutional. We will ultimately prevail with regards to defending Act 10."
The big mystery of Act 10 and the open window for negotiations created by Judge Juan Colas’ recent ruling is if these new contracts could be nullified if the Appeals court overturns Judge Colas. "A lot of people don't know whether this ruling actually applies to all local municipalities or and units of government or just those that were a party to the case, whether they will have to undo any of these contracts if it's found not to apply to them, and even if they don't have to undo the contracts there's some real questions whether a local unit of government, if Act 10 is to be upheld, are going to be able to afford the contracts they've entered into in this short open window.”
Van Hollen says many other problems can be created if his stay of Judge Juan Colas’ order isn’t granted quickly. The Attorney General anticipates filing the motion for a stay of Judge Colas’ ruling with the Court of Appeals yet this week.
(The sound bites used on the radio can be heard by clicking on the application above. The complete interview with Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen can be heard by going to "Media" and then "Podcasts" then scrolling down to the "Newsmakers Interviews" here on WSAU.com)