The statutes demand it to be.
As I said in a comment earlier, no one seems to want to admit how a law is made. I will go through all the statutes below, but here’s the one very large point I have heard no one on either side make:
Do you really think the framers of our state legal system meant for the Secretary of State to have the final veto power over a law both the Assembly and Senate have passed and the Governor has signed?
That’s what the left is arguing when they say the law is not enacted until the SoS publishes it – that the SoS is the final word for lawmaking in Wisconsin. It’s a goofy argument anyone who suffered through a high school civics class should be able to repudiate, unless, of course, they don’t want to admit the truth.
This argument requires knowledge of the role of the Wisconsin Secretary of State. That job is specifically defined in Wisconsin Statute 14.38, Secretary of state, duties. Listed as one of the duties:
Publish in the official state newspaper within 10 days after the date of publication of an act a notice certifying the number of each act, the number of the bill from which it originated, the date of publication and the relating clause. Each certificate shall also contain a notice of where the full text of each act can be obtained. Costs under this paragraph shall be charged to the appropriation under s. 20.765 (1) (d).
The job includes a demand to publish a notice to the official state newspaper within 10 days after publication. The job does not include publishing the law. That falls to the Legislative Reference Bureau in Chapter 35.095:
(3) PUBLICATION. (a) The legislative reference bureau shall publish every act and every portion of an act which is enacted by the legislature over the governor’s partial veto within 10 working days after its date of enactment.
Prior to publication, the SoS designates a date within 10 working days:
(b) The secretary of state shall designate a date of publication for each act and every portion of an act which is enacted by the legislature over the governor’s partial veto. The date of publication may not be more than 10 working days after the date of enactment.
The word used is shall. It’s an imperative, not if he feels like it, or he agrees, or his campaign contributors will let him, but shall. There is an obligation to choose the date, just like in the statute above where the LRB has an obligation to publish.
Finally, the law is not enacted, that was done when the governor signed it, but the law takes effect according to 991.11:
Effective date of acts. Every act and every portion of an act enacted by the legislature over the governor’s partial veto which does not expressly prescribe the time when it takes effect shall take effect on the day after its date of publication as designated under s. 35.095 (3) (b).
Included in this law is 35.095 (3) (b) indicating the SoS shall choose the date for publication. Remember it is demanded the date for publication be within 10 working days. Implied is if the SoS does not choose a date prior to the 10th working day, then the 10th working day becomes the date of publication by the LRB and the law goes into effect the day after the publication date.
Again, put the common sense question to the test: Is the Secretary of State meant to have final veto power over any law enacted by the legislature and governor? Of course not.
What’s taking place today in Dane County Judge Mary Ann Sumi’s courtroom amounts to a kangaroo court. The SoS has no right to hold up publication of his notice; his notice has no bearing on whether or not the law takes effect. (Remember, the law was enacted when signed by the governor.) All I can see from this morning’s proceedings is that Sumi wants to pretend to be of importance.
Also, and this I’ve said before, the judge nor the SoS have the right to stand in the way of the law taking effect even if there was an open meetings violation. That law allows the act to be voided which is different entirely than trying to keep it from taking effect.
19.97 (3) Any action taken at a meeting of a governmental body held in violation of this subchapter is voidable, upon action brought by the attorney general or the district attorney of the county wherein the violation occurred. However, any judgment declaring such action void shall not be entered unless the court finds, under the facts of the particular case, that the public interest in the enforcement of this subchapter outweighs any public interest which there may be in sustaining the validity of the action taken.
The DA or AG would have to bring the action to court knowing the law was in effect, and only after a violation had been ruled. For that to happen under the current legal question would amount to Sumi declaring the sky is green. Not that she won’t, in fact I thoroughly expect her to stay true to her family ties, but it’s really only to her detriment as it discounts her reputation.
So in review, the law is published by the LRB, not the SoS, and it goes into effect the day after the date of publication (not working day), so that would have been last Saturday. The SoS has 10 working days from last Friday to publish a notice in the state paper of record.
What I would love to see? The SoS blow through that obligation and not do his job. Then he can be removed for cause.
I’m pretty sure there’s a law for that.