Rep. Joe Sanfelippo
Comprehensive crime legislation package signed by Governor Walker
Madison, Wis. – Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed a series of bills known as the Victim Prevention Package (VPP) into law, after having passed the legislature with bipartisan support.
The VPP was introduced by Representative Joe Sanfelippo and Senator Leah Vukmir. The package of legislation holds criminals accountable for their actions by implementing common-sense measures to keep Wisconsin communities safe, and focuses on violent, repeat offenders who represent an ongoing threat to our communities.
“For far too long, the growing epidemic of violent crime in our communities has gone unaddressed. We’ve listened to the stories of many of my constituents who have been affected by violence. We’ve heard their pleas for help and with the signing of these bills we’re going to make sure that career criminals no longer slip through the cracks of our criminal justice system,” said Sanfelippo.
The VPP was introduced in response to calls from citizens and officials in the City of West Allis, New Berlin and throughout Wisconsin. The West Allis Common Council passed a resolution on February 6, 2018 urging the passage of the VPP bills, and a number of local elected officials from West Allis as well as New Berlin joined Gov. Walker as he signed the VPP legislation into law. Local officials included West Allis Aldermen Michael May, Dan Roadt and Gary Barczak, West Allis Police Chief Patrick Mitchell, City of New Berlin Mayor Dave Ament and New Berlin City Attorney Mark Blum.
The VPP bills being signed into law are SB 52, SB 55, SB 56, and SB 58. These bills are designed to help ensure the safety of Wisconsinites in their communities through increasing minimum penalties for violent crimes, such as carjacking and illegal firearm possession, allowing correctional facilities to keep violent juvenile felons behind bars longer if they haven’t demonstrated progress towards rehabilitation and giving law enforcement the tools they need to put criminals behind bars.
Also in attendance at the signing ceremony were individuals who had been victims of violent crimes themselves. These included Diana Hansen of New Berlin, who testified in favor of the bill, sharing her story of the home invasion that she and her family suffered and the lasting impact it left on them. Her testimony on the VPP bills can be found here beginning on page 8.
“These laws will help ensure we keep repeat criminals behind bars and away from our communities,” Sanfelippo said.