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Wis. DA: Rules didn’t apply to union committee

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Madison prosecutor is trying to show in court that no legislative rules allowed lawmakers to convene a special committee to debate the Wisconsin’s divisive collective bargaining law without a day’s notice.

Senate Chief Clerk Robert Marchant testified on Friday that he believed a Senate rule trumped the 24-hour notice required in the state’s open meetings law.

But District Attorney Ismael Ozanne pointed out the committee involved lawmakers from both the Senate and the Assembly. That meant that special joint rules applied, not rules from a particular house, and nothing in the joint rules address notice of a meeting.

Republican lawmakers convened the committee on two hours’ notice on March 9 to amend the collective bargaining plan. Ozanne is seeking an injunction to block the law from taking effect indefinitely.

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