Attention has been fixated on efforts in Wisconsin and other states as governors seek concessions from public employee unions in efforts to balance their budgets. Governor Scott Walker (R) of Wisconsin has gone the furthest, so far, by seeking to eliminate the collective bargaining rights of public employee union, prompting Democrats in the State Senate to flee the state to avoid that legislative body from reaching a voting quorum on the issue. If Governor Walker should eventually be successful, however, Wisconsin faces a potential grant issue it may not have initially anticipated: the potential loss of transit assistance it receives from the federal government. Federal law requires governing bodies receiving federal transit assistance to keep all the collective bargaining rights it had in place at the time that assistance began.
The attached client alert discusses the potential grant issue, who might be affected, as well as ambiguities and a possible fix.