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State legal bills near $850K for defending Act 10

Published On: Apr 03 2013 08:52:10 PM CDT

MILWAUKEE -

Wisconsin taxpayers have spent close to $850,000 defending lawsuits over the 2011 law that all but ended collective bargaining for most public workers.

And the lawsuits aren't over yet, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, so the bill is sure to climb.

Gov. Scott Walker's office says taxpayers have paid the Michael Best & Friedrich law firm nearly $847,000 for its work defending Act 10. The firm bills the state up to $300 per hour. Walker's spokesman blames the bills on union challenges to the law.

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

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