This Will Not Stand
March 10, 2011 9:22 AM
Madison's City Attorney Mike May believes that the action taken last night by Senate Republicans to pass union busting provisions of the budget repair bill was in violation of the state's open meetings law because it was not properly noticed. Their action may also have involved fiscal matters that still require a higher quorum than was present without Senate Democrats.
I've asked Mike to join any action he deems appropriate in the courts this morning to reverse the Senate's illegal action.
To quote Mike's email to alders and I this morning:
"The Office of the City Attorney (in compliance with State law) insists on 24 hours notice for any meeting, or adding any matter to an agenda, unless there is no way that 24 hours notice could have been given. Mere convenience or inadvertence is insufficient to meet the less than 24-hour notice. This is necessary to be in compliance with the Open Meetings Law. It is an essential element of government in Wisconsin.
"Today's action does not meet that test. It does not comply with Wisconsin Law.
"The action taken today will be struck down if challenged in court.
"Sec. 19.84(3), Stats.:
"'Public notice of every meeting of a governmental body shall be given at least 24 hours prior to the commencement of such meeting, unless for good cause such notice is impossible or impractical, in which case shorter notice may be given, but in no case may the notice be provided less than 2 hours in advance of the meeting.'
"Sec. 19.97(3), Stats.:
"'Any action taken at a meeting of a governmental body in violation of this subchapter is voidable ...'
"This aggression will not stand. If challenged in court, the action today would likely be voided as illegal."