MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin judge refused Monday to put on hold his earlier decision repealing major parts of Gov. Scott Walker's law effectively ending collective bargaining for most public workers.
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen asked Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas to place his September ruling on hold while an appeal is pending. Colas refused, saying Van Hollen and the state "failed to show that they will suffer irreparable harm if the stay is not granted."
Van Hollen's spokeswoman Dana Brueck said he would now ask the state appeals court to place the Colas ruling on hold.
The ruling last month overturned the law as it pertained to school and local government workers. The law passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature in 2011 applied to all public employees except police, firefighters, local transit workers and emergency medical service employees. It limits collective bargaining on wage increases to the rate of inflation. Other issues, such as workplace safety, vacation and health benefits, were excluded from collective bargaining.
Colas said in his ruling that the law violates school and local employees' constitutional rights to free speech, free association and equal representation because it caps union workers' raises but not those of their nonunion counterparts.
The decision allowed schools and local governments to bargain with their employees, and several, including those in Madison, acted quickly to take advantage of the window to reach new contacts.