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Wis. Supreme Court hears longer than expected arguments on Act 10

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The Wisconsin Supreme Court took longer than expected Monday to hear arguments on whether Act-10 is unconstitutional for local government and school unions. 

The justices only budgeted 90 minutes to hear both sides -- but it took the state an-hour-and-45 minutes to defend the law which virtually ended most collective bargaining. 

The unions began making their case after lunch. 

This is the first time the Supreme Court is hearing Act-10 on its merits. 

The last time it was before the court, the question was whether the Legislature broke the state's Open Meeting Law in passing it. 

The court said the lawmakers acted legally. 

Some of the state's arguments dealt with the importance of having local unions hold their annual re-certification elections if Act-10 is found to be constitutional.  They said the time period is running out for those votes. 

Justice officials said the votes could still be held this year if the court acted quickly. 

On Friday, the justices voted 4-to-3 that the unions which won a contempt order against the holding of the elections could not participate in the arguments. 

That's because those unions were not involved in the original lawsuit -- which was filed by Madison Teachers and a Milwaukee city union.