Act 10 Rulings Continue to Generate Uncertainty

As the ongoing legal battles over the Act 10 legislation continue to rage, both unions and governmental bodies grapple over how to proceed until a definitive court ruling is published. In Janesville, both sides have thrown down the gauntlet: the teachers have threatened to sue if the school board fails to negotiate; and the school district has countered that teachers must sign individual contracts or face termination.

For more on the Janesville situation, click here.


Act 10 Stay of Decision Denied – Act 10 Status Remains Unresolved

It appears that yesterday the Court of Appeals denied Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen’s attempt to stay the lower court’s decision which determined that certain parts of “Act 10” were invalid. This is not a decision on the merits, so this does not change the current status of the law, which is in a state of uncertainty. The State’s appeal of Judge Colas’s decision is still under consideration.

Read more here.

Mandatory Statewide Licensing of Electricians Likely Postponed to April 2014

Pursuant to Wis. Stat. s. 101.861, which was enacted in March of 2008 and due to go into effect April 1, 2013, electricians would be required to be licensed by the state and municipal licensing ordinances would be preempted. Currently, there are also municipal licensing regulations in some communities. The state mandate will preempt local regulations, thus a municipal electrician licensing ordinance would become unenforceable on April 1, 2013. A new bill, 2013 AB 35, passed by both the Senate and House, if signed by the governor will postpone the the effective date of these statutory provisions to April 1, 2014.

Residency Requirements – What Goes Into a Budget Bill…

In Governor Walker’s proposed budget bill, AB 40, there is a broad prohibition on local residency requirements which may invalidate any municipal residency requirement, whether it is enacted by ordinance, or agreed to under contract. If this passes, it is unlikely any municipality could enforce any residency requirements. It is possible that response time requirements (e.g. for police, file and other emergency employees) may be valid, depending on how they are written.

You can find the proposed residency preemption language in 66.0502, of AB 40.