Wisconsin Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca discusses violation of open meetings law

Madison's Cap Times:

Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, filed a complaint Thursday morning with the Dane County district attorney charging that the Joint Conference Committee that convened at 6 p.m. Wednesday and passed an amended version of Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair bill is in violation of the open meetings law.

The complaint states that Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald and his brother, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, and others "knowingly attended the meeting in violation of the Open Meetings law" and are subject to penalties identified in state statute.

The complaint asks that the actions taken at the meeting be declared void.

Earlier, former Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager, who now represents AFSCME, said it was "clear...on it's face" that the conference committee meeting was violated Wisconsin's open meetings law which requires twenty-four hours public notice. The meeting last night was held after less than two hours of notice, far short of the statutory requirement. Even if courts conclude that the meeting was held in violation of the law, it isn't a guarantee that their action will be voided. But at the very least, it gives opponents of the legislation a cause of action to keep the the fight against the legislation alive even as recall efforts pick up steam.

Update: Greg Sargent posts the actual complaint.

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