Wisconsin Supreme Court rules state officials can wait to release public records to unions

MADISON – The Wisconsin Supreme Court determined Tuesday that a state official could take longer than usual to release public records about union elections to combat the threat of voter intimidation in those elections. 

The 5-2 ruling was a blow to unions and advocates of the open records law, which ordinarily requires documents to be released “as soon as practicable and without delay.”

The case centered on how quickly a state employment commission was required to provide records to a Madison teachers union. 

Under the 2011 labor law known as Act 10, most public-sector unions must hold annual elections to determine whether they can continue to bargain for raises.

The unions must win support from 51% of all eligible members, not just those who cast votes. In effect, if someone doesn’t cast a ballot, it counts as a “no” vote. Read more…