Scott Walker Still Fighting Courts over Unions

Tuesday, 18 Sep 2012 11:58 AM

By Greg McDonald

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is fighting to keep his curbs on union collective bargaining intact following a court ruling that struck down parts of the law on grounds that workers' rights are being violated.
Appearing on Fox News' "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren," the Republican insisted Monday the decision by Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas would be overturned on appeal.
In the meantime, he said the state's attorney general planned to petition the court on Tuesday for a stay of the decision issued last Friday, which he described as just one more attempt to derail his budget reform efforts.
"Our hope is a stay will be granted," Walker said, noting that if allowed to stand it could be "devastating" to local governments who have already settled on their budgets for the year and might have to lay off workers as a result.
"That's not what people want out there," he said. "They are ready to move on, not only balancing the budget but saving taxpayer money and turning the budget deficit into a surplus."
"I would hope that [the courts] give this a chance to go forward, because otherwise there will be an awful lot of local officials trying to figure out exactly what to do next," he added.
The Republican-passed law that repealed public employee collective bargaining rights in 2011 remains basically intact for state employees. But Judge Colas' ruling focuses more on local government workers and school teachers.
The judge took issue with a section of the law that caps union workers' raises but places no cap on non-union worker salaries. According to a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Colas also said the law violates the "home rule" section of the state constitution by setting pension contributions to local retirement plans instead of leaving that decision to local governments and their employees.
Walker, a rising star in the Republican Party because of his union and budget reform efforts in Wisconsin, also told Van Susteren he still believes Mitt Romney can win the presidency, despite a number of recent setbacks in his campaign.
Romney's challenge, Walker said, is "to make the case that the 'R' next to his name doesn't just stand for 'Republican,' it stands for 'Reformer."
"If he can do that, it's neck and neck," he said, adding that he believes Romney is in "a dead even tie right now" with Obama, despite what some polls indicate.

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