Republican Calvinball Comes to Michigan

By: Saturday April 7, 2012 5:00 pm

he Michigan Constitution explicitly states that all laws passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor will go into effect 90 days into the next calendar year. The only way you can speed that process is through passing an “emergency measure” by a two-thirds vote that puts the law into effect immediately. Over 95% of Michigan laws have been passed that way, through “immediate effect,” since Republicans came into the majority in the legislature in 2011.

But the twist comes at around the 9 minute mark: in fact, practically none of those laws which got “immediate effect” received a two-thirds vote. House Republicans are just holding a separate “immediate effect” vote on these bills, with no roll call, and graveling in passage by eyeball of the chair three seconds after the vote gets called. They’re just lying to accelerate the process, violating the state Constitution.


Wisconsin Judge AGAIN Blocks Anti-Union Law

By: Tuesday March 29, 2011 4:48 pm

We all know how this turned out the first time, but for the record, Judge Maryann Sumi extended the temporary restraining order against the anti-union law which strips most collective bargaining rights from public employees, and warned of sanctions for any public official who continues to implement the law.

Wisconsin: Republicans Dial It Back, Revoke Punitive Actions Against Fab 14 Senate Democrats

By: Tuesday March 15, 2011 4:30 pm

Plenty of people were quick to denounce Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald for announcing that Senate Democrats would not be allowed to participate in recorded committee votes. But if you read the letter he sent, he was saying more specifically that the contempt order, which the Republicans passed in the dark days of the impasse over the anti-union bill, had not yet been revoked. This contempt order could only be lifted on the Senate floor by a vote, and the Senate isn’t due back in session in Wisconsin until April 5.

First Legal Challenge to Walker Anti-Union Bill in Wisconsin Denied, But Case Will Continue

By: Friday March 11, 2011 5:25 pm

Wisconsin’s anti-public employee bill is signed, but the Secretary of State will take the maximum 10 days to publish the legislation, which means it won’t officially become law until March 25 at the earliest, and probably not until the following Monday, March 28. So there are a couple weeks of legal efforts to go here before we see if the bill will become law immediately.

Wisconsin Assembly Passes Anti-Union Bill; Democrats to Contest It on Procedural Grounds

By: Thursday March 10, 2011 3:05 pm

The Assembly Minority Leader, Peter Barca, has filed an official complaint that yesterday’s conference committee violated state open meetings laws. The complaint has a number of findings of fact, and then asserts that the conference committee “was not conducted in compliance with Joint Rule 3″ of the Wisconsin Legislature, as well as not being exempt from open meetings law requirements, specifically the stipulation that 24 hours notice be given for a public meeting. This complaint goes to the Dane County district attorney.

Wisconsin Assembly Underway; Two Hours of Debate on Public Employee Rights-Stripping Bill

By: Thursday March 10, 2011 12:30 pm

Keep in mind that in a press conference today, Scott Walker basically said that yes, stripping collective bargaining has a fiscal impact, but no, it doesn’t conflict with quorum laws, so go pound sand. The lawyers are going to have a field day with this bill, I predict.

Wisconsin: Confusion Reigns Over Legality of Anti-Union Bill Passage in Wisconsin

By: Thursday March 10, 2011 6:04 am

When you talk to political folks in Wisconsin, you realize that transparency and procedure matter a lot. This violation of law is actually but one of the many dubious marks on yesterday’s action, and actually all the action around the budget repair bill and the assault on workers’ rights. Perhaps the open meetings violation could be rectified merely by waiting another day and starting over. But there are all the questions surrounding the content of the bill itself. The whole reason this ordeal has lasted three weeks is that the collective bargaining piece was tied into the budget repair bill, which had a fiscal impact. That’s what triggered the quorum requirement. But the Republicans supposedly stripped out the fiscal pieces and passed a purely non-fiscal bill last night in the Senate, and later this morning they’ll do the same in the Assembly.

Anti-Public Employee Bill Passes Senate in Wisconsin; Only the Beginning of the Fight

By: Wednesday March 9, 2011 5:23 pm

The vote in the State Senate, entirely composed of Republicans, was 18-1; only moderate Dale Schultz voted no. The budget repair bill was split at the last minute, cleaving the “non-fiscal” anti-union piece from the fiscal components of the bill. The non-fiscal piece did not require a quorum, so the Senate was able to pass it.

So what happens now? There are a host of potential implications…

Wisconsin: Republicans Move to Split Budget Repair Bill, Pass Anti-Union Measures Tonight

By: Wednesday March 9, 2011 3:29 pm

This is quite a power play by the Wisconsin Republicans. Despite all the public opinion against them, despite weeks of protests, they have apparently decided to end the political careers of most of their colleagues. The Senate leader, Scott Fitzgerald, just called for a conference committee on the budget repair bill. The Senate, of course, hasn’t passed anything. But as I understand it, the plan is this: The Senate and Assembly will try to split the bill in half.

Wisconsin Legislators Subject to Raucous Town Halls

By: Tuesday March 8, 2011 11:45 am

Protesters converged on a town hall in Wauwatosa for Leah Vukmir, a Republican state Senator, leading to US Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), who happened to be at the meeting, adjourning it as if it were a committee hearing, which it, um, wasn’t.

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