Madison — Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi issued a temporary restraining order Friday, barring the publication of a controversial new law that would sharply curtail collective bargaining for public employees.
Sumi’s order will prevent Secretary of State Doug La Follette from publishing the law until she can rule on the merits of the case. Dane County Ismael Ozanne is seeking to block the law because he says a legislative committee violated the state’s open meetings law.
Sumi said Ozanne was likely to succeed on the merits.
“It seems to me the public policy behind effective enforcement of the open meeting law is so strong that it does outweigh the interest, at least at this time, which may exist in favor of sustaining the validity of the (law),” she said.
The judge’s finding – at least for now – is a setback to Republican Gov. Scott Walker and a victory for opponents, who have spent weeks in the Capitol to protest the bill.
Rep. Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) said he was pleased with the judge’s ruling.
“I am very pleased with her action,” Barca said. “We felt from the beginning this was a violation of the open meetings law. And now we go on from here.”
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