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Gov. Walker's agency rule review power ruled unconstitutional

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Judge's Gavel By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Judge's Gavel By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A judge in Madison ruled Tuesday that the governor’s new power to approve-or-deny administrative rules from state agencies is unconstitutional – at least when it comes to public education.

Majority Republicans in the Legislature passed a bill last May which gives the governor the power to approve-or-deny rules which are set by state agencies to carry out the various laws.

Governor Scott Walker had contended that agencies overreached their authority, and hurt business in the process – and that’s why he pushed for the review power.

But the state’s largest teachers’ union and its chapter in Madison filed a lawsuit last summer, saying the governor’s powers cannot apply to public education.

That’s because voters elect a state Superintendent to carry out those actions.

The unions said the law gives another state office more authority than the superintendent on educational matters – and on Tuesday, Dane County Circuit Judge Amy Smith agreed.

The governor’s office says it will appeal.

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