State’s Supreme Court set to hear arguments over Act 10 in Madison

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MADISON (WITI) -- The Wisconsin Supreme Court is set to hear arguments over the highly controversial collective bargaining law known as Act 10. A Dane County judge ruled the law unconstitutional, but now, the Supreme Court will have the final say after hearing from Gov. Walker's administration and from public sector unions.

FOX6 News obtained an advance copy of Gov. Walker's new book, "Unintimidated" and in it, he details the behind-the-scenes strategy of trying to end the political stalemate.

This, as the state Supreme Court may write the next chapter in the history of Act 10 on Monday, November 11th.

With the Democratic senators out of the state, they prevented a vote on the "Budget Repair Bill" -- or Act 10 because there was no quorum, but bills that don't spend money don't need a quorum.

Gov. Walker says he had an answer early on -- split the fiscal items out, and just take a vote on the reforms.

In his book, he writes:

"It was a simple solution, and we urged the Senate to do it right away.  But the Republican senators hesitated.  They were afraid that if they passed collective bargaining reforms alone, without the fiscal savings, they would be accused of union bashing."

As the protests turned from thousands to tens of thousands, Gov. Walker writes that his Deputy Chief of Staff called and told him they had lost control of the Capitol.

Gov. Walker writes that on the morning of March 9th, 2011, he met with Republican lawmakers and presented a plan to end the standoff -- one that would require the Conference Committee to meet the following day and split the bill -- with a vote taking place the next day.

Gov. Walker planned to fly around the state to rally support for the plan. It would all be over in 48 hours. He writes:

"Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald had decided to throw our orderly plan out the window and vote on Act 10 that night.  He was presiding over a skittish caucus, and did not know how long he would have the votes.  He decided not to wait."

Over Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca's loud objections, the Senate took a vote within four hours of the meeting being noticed.

The Assembly passed an identical bill the next day -- and on the morning of March 11th, Gov. Walker signed the bill in private. He writes:

"We did not want to take any chances. I signed Act 10 into law right there at my dining room table."

This is the second time the law has come to the Supreme Court. The first time was a fight over whether the law was properly passed -- and the court decided that it was.

This is the first time the court will hear arguments on the actual substance of the law.

It all begins on Monday morning in Madison.

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