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State & Local

Wisconsin Department Moving to Implement New Collective Bargaining Rules Despite Court Order

Wisconsin Budget

March 3: Protesters celebrate as they walk outside of the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., after a judge ordered the Department of Administration to open the Capitol to normal business hours starting Monday, March 7, 2011. (AP)

MADISON, Wis. -- Until it's told otherwise, Wisconsin's Department of Administration says it will move forward as though an unsettled law that takes away certain collective bargaining rights has become official. 

Department Secretary Mike Huebsch said Saturday that his legal counsel has advised him to begin implementing the law as required after a bill is lawfully published. 

The bill in question was published Friday by the nonpartisan Legislative Reference Bureau. 

Publication typically means a law takes effect, but there's uncertainty in this case. 

The Reference Bureau head says the law only takes effect after Secretary of State Doug La Follette acts. But a judge's temporary restraining order prevented La Follette from doing so. 

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says that doesn't matter. He says since the Reference Bureau published it, it's official.