Contact: Myranda Tanck

Second consideration of bipartisan victims’ rights legislation approved by Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety

Legislation to update Wisconsin’s state Constitution to ensure equal rights for crime victims has cleared a key State Senate committee in the first weeks of the 2019 legislative session. Introduced for second consideration as  Assembly Joint Resolution 1/Senate Joint Resolution 2, the proposal, known as Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin, was authored by State Senators Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) and Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) and State Representatives Todd Novak (R-Dodgeville) and David Crowley (D-Milwaukee) with more than 50 listed cosponsors from both sides of the aisle.

Last week, the legislation received a joint public hearing before the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety and Assembly Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committees, where victims, advocates, law enforcement and other supporters delivered powerful personal stories in testimony for the legislation. The bill cleared the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee today and is scheduled to be acted on by the Assembly Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee tomorrow. Supporters of the bill are hoping the measure will go before the full Senate and Assembly for approval next week.

The bipartisan proposal to strengthen the rights of crime victims passed the Legislature with overwhelming bipartisan support last year. In order to amend the state Constitution a proposed amendment must pass the Legislature in two consecutive sessions and then be put to the voters for ratification. The bill must pass both chambers by January 22 in order to be placed on this coming April’s ballot.

Earlier this month, the grassroots organization announced the launch of an extensive radio and digital advertising campaign on top of robust ongoing advocacy efforts. The group has followed these efforts with the rollout of their “Voices for Victims” video campaign, highlighting a series of testimonial-style videos from survivors, victim advocates, and law enforcement leaders talking about why they personally support the proposal. These efforts are aimed at ensuring that Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin can be before voters during the April 2, 2019 election.

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