Judge voids controversial Wisconsin union law

Reuters News
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Posted: May 26, 2011 11:13 AM

MADISON, Wisconsin (Reuters) - A Wisconsin judge on Thursday voided a controversial Republican-backed law restricting the collective bargaining rights of public sector unions.

Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi said Republican lawmakers violated the state's open meetings law in rushing the legislation through during massive protests at the state Capitol earlier this year.

Sumi ruled the evidence was "clear and convincing" that Republicans failed to comply with the law in a hastily called meeting in March to push through legislation containing the collective bargaining changes.

The Wisconsin proposal championed by Republican Governor Scott Walker would eliminate most collective bargaining rights for public sector unions and require them to pay more for pensions and health coverage. The law has been on hold pending the legal decision.

(Reporting by Jeff Mayers; Writing by Greg McCune; Editing by Peter Bohan)