October 23, 2014

Walker backs settlement over Capitol permit policy

Governor Scott Walker says a deal reached between the state and ACLU over requiring permits at the Capitol still achieves the same goal of helping officials prepare for large demonstrations, while ensuring the public and those who work in the Capitol have full access to the building.

Under the settlement announced Tuesday, groups of 12 or more people will not need a permit to hold a demonstration, if they inform the state at least two days in advance that they plan to hold a gathering in the building. Walker says the method that the state will now use to handle those cases will be slightly different, but the reasons for it stay essentially the same.

AUDIO: Gov. Scott Walker (:54)

The ACLU sued the state over the old policy, which required groups of four or more to obtain a permit. A judge later issued an order that allowed the state to require permits for groups of 20 or more people, but members of a daily protest sing-along group have faced repeated arrests for refusing to comply with the rule. The deal reached by the ACLU acknowledges the state has a right to control some access to the Capitol, but not in any way that infringes on the First Amendment rights of its citizens.