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Senate OKs scaled-down injunction bill (UPDATE)

By: Eric Heisig//February 11, 2014//

Senate OKs scaled-down injunction bill (UPDATE)

By: Eric Heisig//February 11, 2014//

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The state Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would grant the right to appeal rulings blocking state laws.

The Senate’s version, which passed 18-14 with little discussion, is a dramatically watered-down version of a bill the Assembly passed in June.

In the Assembly’s version, any injunction issued by a judge would have been lifted if an appeal is filed within 10 days. The Senate’s version, however, would allow lawyers to appeal rulings if they’re issued ahead of a final judgment, though the rulings would not be nullified.

Republicans introduced the bill after Dane County judges struck down portions of Gov. Scott Walker’s law stripping public workers of their union rights and voided GOP photo identification requirements for voters.

Sen. Fred Risser, D-Madison, said before the vote that the Assembly’s version of the bill was a “crazy idea, totally unconscionable and unconstitutional.” He said he was glad the Senate changed the bill before the vote, but also called the new version a “relatively meaningless bill.”

“It seems to me,” Risser said, “that we have a good system going on.”

The Legislative Council in a May memo stated that the Assembly’s version of the bill might violate the separation of legislative and judicial powers, and that “it is difficult to predict with certainty how a court may rule regarding the bill’s constitutionality.”

However, a staff member for the Assembly version’s sponsor, Rep. David Craig, R-West Bend, said the council’s concerns should be addressed by the Senate changing the bill.

The staff member also expected the bill to be taken up by the Assembly for concurrence next week. If it passes, it would go to Gov. Scott Walker for approval.

The Associated Press also contributed to this report.


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