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Madison - Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen sent a letter today to the State Senate Committee on Judiciary, Corrections, Insurance, Campaign Finance Reform, and Housing opposing Senate Bill 19, which would waive the state's sovereign immunity with respect to certain federal employment laws.
"I am very concerned that this legislation is an overbroad and expensive solution to a problem that does not exist," Van Hollen wrote. Noting that state law already provides the state workforce with nearly identical substantive protections as federal law, Van Hollen wrote that by requiring "expensive court actions," the bill would "increase costs without tangibly increasing benefits."
Van Hollen's letter also noted that the state legislature had the authority to enhance worker protections by amending state law without passing a blanket waiver of sovereign immunity. "Surrendering state sovereign immunity," Van Hollen wrote, "is just another way of saying that Wisconsin needs the Congress of the United States to dictate our state's policies with regard to the protection of the state workforce."
A copy of Van Hollen's letter can be found at