Walker and the GOP were dealt a setback Friday afternoon, when a Dane County judge issued a temporary restraining order, blocking publication of the bill.
Dane County DA, Ismael Ozanne, had filed suit on the grounds that Republicans had violated the state's Open Meetings Law by forcing a vote with less than two hours notice. In the suit, Ozanne sought to block Secretary of State Doug Lafollette from publishing the bill. In Wisconsin, a law takes effect the day following publication by the secretary of state.
It occurred to me at the time that, if you were a Republican state senator looking for an escape hatch, this might be it. Republican state senators Luther Olsen, Dan Kapanke and Randy Hopper are among those considered most vulnerable to recall efforts.
If you're one of these three, you might not be pleased at the prospect of having to recast the vote that likely ended your career because your leadership failed to follow the Open Meetings law.
Late this afternoon, GOP leaders said that they have no plans to revote on the budget repair bill. This could be a very interesting development, and a signal that Republicans are now looking for a way out.
Republican legislative leaders have no plans to reconvene either the Senate or Assembly for the purpose of voting again on a bill that sharply limits collective bargaining for government employees.
Andrew Welhouse, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau), said in an e-mail on Saturday that Republicans will stick to the appeals process after Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi decided on Friday to issue a temporary restraining order to halt publication of the measure.
Judge Sumi's ruling on this issue has been seen by many as a minor procedural hurtle. Republicans could just revote, making sure this time to follow the 24-hour notice requirement of the Open Meeting Law.
Today's announcement makes you wonder if the politics of having to cast yet another incredibly unpopular vote, now that recall efforts are really heating up, have made some in the Republican caucus revolt against the leadership.