Wow! This week’s been a busy one so far, and it’s only Wednesday!
Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety Executive Session
To start off, yesterday, the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee met and voted on a number of bills. The bills were as follows:
AB 55: This bill doubles all fines and jail time for endangering safety, a second offense, bodily harm, great bodily harm, and reckless driving on train tracks. I voted against this bill because all it does is increase penalties, and if we currently have a system where weak Milwaukee judges aren’t actively enforcing current penalties, how will adding additional penalties help?
AB 56: This legislation would allow municipalities to pass an ordinance authorizing law enforcement to impound a vehicle that was previously cited for reckless driving and has a prior reckless driving conviction for which the fine has not been paid. I voted in favor of this bill.
AB 51: This bill makes DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients eligible to be hired as police officers and sheriff’s deputies. I voted against this bill because it provides opportunities to people who entered the US illegally that are not offered to those who immigrated to the US properly. I offered an amendment to allow legal immigrants to also be police officers, but my amendment was not taken up by the committee. I will work to have it adopted by the full Assembly instead.
AB 58: Under this bill, the minimum sentence for a violent felon in possession of a firearm will be set at 5 years. I voted in favor of this bill. It was originally drafted to apply to all felons, but I worked to apply the minimum penalty only to violent criminals. I appreciate the committee adopting this change to the bill.
AB 68:This bill changes the death of another person by manufacture or delivery of a schedule I or II controlled substance from a class C felony to a class B felony, thus enforcing imprisonment and a stronger penalty. While this bill was marketed to the committee as an anti-fentanyl bill, the presentation was disingenuous at best. If the bill targeted fentanyl and similar drugs, I would have supported the bill. But it wasn’t. Instead, it applies to ALL Schedule 1 and Schedule 2 drugs (pretty much all controlled substances). I voted against this bill in its current form and hope to see it amended before full passage by the Assembly.
Committee on Judiciary Executive Session
Shortly after the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee met, the Judiciary Committee also met to vote on a number of bills. I voted in favor of all of them. The bills are:
AB 70: Under this bill, anyone who intentionally incites another to commit a riot is guilty of a Class I felony. Intentionally committing an act of violence while participating in a riot is a Class H felony. This aligns Wisconsin with current federal definitions of rioting. We must always respect the right of the public to protest and be heard, but we should also maintain law and order.
AB 54: On the April 4th election, you will have the opportunity to vote on a proposed constitutional amendment to allow judges to consider a criminal’s violent record when setting bail. This bill defines “violent crime” and “serious harm.” It also gathers all of those definitions and incorporates them into the appropriate statutory locations in state law to implement the Constitutional Amendment if you pass it in April.
AB 52: The bill defines carjacking in statute and reclassifies carjacking with the use or threat of a dangerous weapon as a Class B felony.
AB 57: This bill requires a prosecutor to get the court’s approval to dismiss or amend a number of crimes, with specific requirements for crimes pertaining to illegal possession of a firearm. It will also require judges to put out a report explaining to the public why they decided to dismiss these violent crime charges. This should hold weak judges accountable to the public. Click here to listen to my thoughts on the bill.
FYI – Licensing Changes Coming Soon
The White House has announced that it plans to end the Presidential national emergency proclamation on May 11, 2023. Accordingly, a temporary license for a person who applied for the temporary license without also applying for a regular license will expire 30 days after that, on June 10, 2023.
To sum it up, if a person has a 2021 Act 10 license only under the Presidential national emergency proclamation that’s ending in May, all they need to do is apply for the regular license, and DSPS will be able to identify and manage the files to maintain the person’s 2021 Act 10 active license status while the regular application is pending.
Saturday, March 18th, will be the 23rd Annual Dale Kozlowski Memorial Crow Fest. This event will take place at the Westshore Sportsman’s Club in Two Rivers from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Even if you do not hunt, you are still welcome to stop by and enjoy the food, drinks, live music, and raffles that will be going on.
Saturday, March 25th, will be the Tisch Mills Chicken Booyah at the Tisch Mills Fire Station. This event will take place from noon until gone and is drive-through only.
Head on down to the library for some friendly competition! Every Tuesday from 6-7:30pm, the Lester Public Library in Two Rivers (1001 Adam St.) hosts a Family Game Night. Games and popcorn are provided.