Saturday, March 12, 2011

WI Sec. of State La Follette delays Walker bill

Apparently the Secretary of State DOES have an important job!

Doug La Follette, the current Wisconsin Secretary of State, is delaying publishing the recent law signed yesterday by Republican Gov. Scott Walker. The bill will remove the rights of public service employees to collectively bargain their contracts. But by delaying the publication of the bill, La Follette stalls it's implementation, at least until March 25.

Citing legal challenges to the law made by Dane County Executive Kathleen Faulk and County Board Chair Scott McDonnell, La Follette's delay allows more time for those legal disputes to cultivate, giving the courts the opportunity to determine if the law was passed in an illegal manner.

The Senate Republicans passed the bill through questionable means by streamlining it without proper notice. The Republicans' failure to adhere to open meeting laws meant that they violated not only the trust of the people but also the laws meant to protect them from legislation passed in 30 minutes or less.

Such "pizza delivery" legislation prevents the people from being able to make their voices heard, to express their support or disdain for bills up for consideration, or even to just be INFORMED of the bills that are out there. Though the legal battle following this mess will likely fail to prevent the law from being implemented in the long-run, it's necessary to defend the rights of the people, to show these Republican legislators that these practices of "sudden-impact" legislation are not acceptable.

There are some that will criticize La Follette for acting political in a position of neutrality. The Secretary of State, after all, isn't supposed to have any input on laws, but to merely publish them when they pass and adhere to the rule of law himself. But La Follette isn't violating his position of power -- he's merely delaying the implementation of the law by two weeks to allow for legal challenges to be heard. The law will be put in place following this delay -- La Follette isn't preventing governance, but simply allowing the judicial branch of government to work as well.

And even so, the typical time it takes to publish laws is ten days. Walker' request to La Follette's office to publish the law on Monday is atypical, an unusual request to make for any piece of legislation that isn't an emergency.

There's no problem with delaying the publishing of this terrible law, to allow for more discussion about its legality. La Follette stays true to his namesake, allowing the people of Wisconsin a greater chance to have a say about the law, and furthermore allowing the courts a chance to review it.

1 comment:

  1. Is there anything but a "liberal" in Madison - talk about an echo chamber. I guess liberal means the same ideas since the 1930s.