Wis. spends nearly $850K to defend union limits

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Associated Press

Posted on April 3, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 3 at 7:04 PM

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Wisconsin taxpayers have spent close to $850,000 defending lawsuits over Republican Gov. Scott Walker's 2011 law that all but ended collective bargaining for most public workers.

And the lawsuits aren't over yet.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports (http://bit.ly/10siZD2 ) that Walker's office says taxpayers have paid the Michael Best & Friedrich law firm nearly $847,000 to defend the union rights law, which was championed by Walker to address budget problems.

The firm bills the state up to $300 per hour. Walker's spokesman blames the legal bills on union challenges.

Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca criticizes the expense. The Democrat from Kenosha says it's part of a larger pattern. He notes that Wisconsin has spent about $2 million on redistricting litigation and is expected to face lawsuits over a new mining law.

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Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, http://www.jsonline.com

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