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In a sign that they may be spooked by the legal challenge against the bill stripping collective bargaining rights for state employees, and also by the seriousness of JoAnne Kloppenburg’s electoral challenge to Supreme Court Justice David Prosser, Wisconsin Republicans are now considering passing their union-busting bill a second time. JS Online:

Gov. Scott Walker's union bargaining measure could be passed a second time as part of the next state budget, a top Republican lawmaker said Tuesday.(…)

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) said Tuesday that the measure could be included in the 2011-'13 state budget and passed a second time if the bill remains hung up in court.

This isn’t a move by a party confident of legal and electoral victory. Wisconsin Republicans had previously insisted they would not pass their union-busting bill a second time, even though the judge who issued the temporary restraining order against the bill said doing so would quickly settle the legal case:

As the legal fight continues, Sumi said the dispute could be resolved by the Legislature again passing the measure.

"I am dismayed at this point given the relative easy fix for this that thousands and thousands of dollars are being spent, all being footed by the taxpayers of this state to pursue this litigation," Sumi said.

Further, Republicans walking back their refusal to re-pass the bill on the same day as the Supreme Court election is suspicious. The timing makes this hard to read as anything except a hedge against a potential Prosser defeat, since that could result in the anti-union bill being tossed out by the Wisconsin Supreme Court on grounds that it violated the state's open meetings law.

Wisconsin Republicans are getting nervous.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 02:40 PM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive.

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