Act 10: A look back
Circuit Court ruling means story of historic legislation continues
MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was in Minnesota over the weekend, meeting with other governors and potential foreign investors.
But Gov. Walker also addressed the recent news that a judge had struck down his collective bargaining law.
Gov. Walker said that he will request a stay from the court later in the week.
“If it’s ultimately upheld, which we believe it will be, it doesn’t make any logical sense to have school boards and local governments go back, change everything, and then come back after short order and go back to the way it was,” said Gov. Walker.
Friday’s development means that the much-debated, much-protested, and much-scrutinized “Act 10” is again right back in the headlines.16627330
So how did we get here? Let’s take a look back.
It all started just before Valentine’s Day in 2011, when Gov. Scott Walker, sworn into office just a month before, announced his “Budget Repair Bill.”
“I identify the problem, I tell you what the solution is, and then I do it,” announced Gov. Walker at the time.
Gov. Walker proposed deep cuts, effectively eliminating collective bargaining rights for most public workers, and increasing pension and insurance contributions.
Workers responded by holding historic protests at the State Capitol.
After weeks of stalemate, including the unprecedented act of 14 Democratic State Senators leaving Wisconsin for three weeks in order to delay a vote, Act 10 passed controversially in in March of 2011.
Several legal battles and one stop at the State Supreme Court later, Act 10 became law in June 2011.
In the fall, Democrats shifted their focus on recalling Gov. Walker.
In that election, Gov. Walker’s challenger was a familiar one: Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett, whom walker had bested in the 2010 gubernatorial election.
After months of recall campaigning, Gov. Walker kept his title, beating Barrett by seven points in June 2012.
The election made Walker the first U.S. governor to survive a recall election.
Now, nearly 18 months after it all started, the collective bargaining battle is back after a Dane County Circuit Court judge ruled that parts of Act 10 violate the U.S. and Wisconsin constitutions.
Union lawyers say unions for municipal workers are back in business.
Meanwhile, Gov. Walker vows to appeal the ruling.
“Ultimately, we’re confident when it comes to the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court, the law will be upheld,” said Gov. Walker.
With an appeal all but certain, the story of this historic legislation will undoubtedly continue.