OTR Interviews

Wisconsin's Controversial Collective Bargaining Stripping Law in Limbo - For Now

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," March 18, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Passed, signed, and now, blocked. A Wisconsin judge is blocking Wisconsin governor Scott Walker's controversial law on collective bargaining, blocking it from being published, meaning it cannot take effect.

Dane County's district attorney asked the judge to block the bill, arguing that the legislative committee that passed the bill on March 9th did not give 24 hour notice required by Wisconsin's open meetings law.

As you will remember, Republican legislators voted to remove the fiscal portions of the budget bill, allowing them to advance a new collective bargaining bill with only a simple majority. In other words they didn't need any of those missing 14 Democratic senators to vote and get it passed.

The judge agreed with the D.A. and issued an order blocking the bill until March 29 when there will be a full hearing. In the meantime, the law cannot take effect, Governor Scott Walker is blocked. So what now? Well, the legislature tried to pass it again. The Wisconsin lieutenant governor Rebecca Kleefisch joins us live. Good evening.


VAN SUSTEREN: Rather than going through all these legal hurdles now and appealing and fighting and paying legal fees and everything else, why not just redo the bill?

KLEEFISCH: Well, we have confidence that this legislation is going to make its way through the legal process the same way it made its way through the legislature, with common sense and the taxpayers prevailing. We have seen a rush back into legislative session.

VAN SUSTEREN: I'll tell you. Take a look at this. I looked the pleadings. I can only imagine what your hourly rate is for these motions. This is what came today. I don't know who is paying these lawyers. You can just scrap it. I don't know what your judge is doing. The judge said she's not going to decide the case until March 29th. It takes five minutes to decide it. So it's unresolved.

So you're paying all these legal bills and the judge won't make a decision. And all you've got to do is go back in, and do it again. You don't need 14 Democrats because it's, you know, it's not, you don't need a quorum, and you've got a bill.

KLEEFISCH: We already have our bill. In fact, it's been signed by our governor. The only thing standing in the way is our secretary of state who has not published it because of the temporary restraining order, which our Department of Justice is going to appeal. We have full confidence we're going to prevail in this. There is no challenge to the legality of this law, Greta. The challenge is to how a meeting was convened.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know what, you can get this done faster. I'm looking at number of lawyers signed off on this pleading I'm assuming you're paying by the hour -- four lawyers and doesn't count the state attorney generals and it's absurd this judge is waiting until March 29th for something that is completely simple you win or lose. You violated rules or not. You're getting jerked around and paying legal fees and there is an easy out on this one. Just redo it. Do a do over. And do it swiftly and without this mess.

KLEEFISCH: Well, unfortunately, it is a mess right now because right now, we're dealing with these legal proceedings and would like for this fall to be published.

We were surprised when the secretary of state said he was going to delay the publishing of the law, which apparently he says he has done in the past for previous administrations. But the fact of the matter is that no one is challenging legality of what is actually inside of the law. The law is ready to go. Taxpayers of Wisconsin are ready to see it so we can have a budget with some fiscal responsibility in it.

VAN SUSTEREN: I don't get it. You can outsmart the other side. They're playing politics with you. If you say the secretary of state by not publishing is playing politics. I recognize his long time name in the state of Wisconsin. I recognize that.

KLEEFISCH: You would know that.

VAN SUSTEREN: They're playing politics in court, and you can play politics get this through and not pay a dime in legal fees and get it done right away. That is what I don't get.

KLEEFISCH: Greta, we don't want to play any games. We saw what happened when politicians play games, when they uproot themselves and move temporarily down to our neighbors to the south, Illinois. We don't want to play any games. The law has been passed and signed. We're ready to go.

VAN SUSTEREN: We'll see what happened. I think the judge can decide this faster. Lieutenant governor, thank you. I don't know she's waiting until March 29th. She must get paid by the hour, just teasing. Thank you.