A Dane County judge last week struck down portions of Wisconsin’s law limiting collective bargaining rights, finding that it violated the rights of union members.

An appeal to the state Supreme Court is expected.

Judge Juan Colas ruled that provisions violated union members’ constitutional rights in a number of areas, including free speech and equal representation. He also ruled that the law improperly set pension contributions for employees of Milwaukee, which is a home-rule city.

The law covered most public unions with the exception of those representing police and firefighters and set different pay standards for union and non-union members.

The law was challenged by unions in Milwaukee and Madison, the capital.

The controversial law was part of the budget repair bill submitted by Gov. Scott Walker last year that also raised employee pension and health care premium payments to help shore up the budget.

Democratic senators opposed to the collective bargaining rights’ provisions fled the state to prevent a quorum.

Large protests against the bill were held at the capital, but the bill eventually passed. Democrats and unions launched a recall election petition drive but Walker won the election this spring.

The ruling affects local governments and schools but not workers. A federal judge earlier this year struck down portions of the law. An appeal of that ruling is slated for arguments next week.

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