Contact: Myranda Tanck

 – Legislation to update Wisconsin’s state Constitution to ensure equal rights for crime victims has cleared legislative committees in the Wisconsin State Senate and Assembly and is now available for scheduling for a floor vote in each chamber. 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.

The bill was approved by the Assembly Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee on a bipartisan 10-2 vote after clearing the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee yesterday.  Last week, the legislation received a joint public hearing before both committees, where victims, advocates, law enforcement and other supporters delivered powerful personal stories in testimony for the legislation. Supporters of the bill are hoping the measure will go before the full Senate and Assembly for approval next week.

Teri Jendusa-Nicolai, State Chair for Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin and the survivor of a brutal attack by her ex-husband, released the following statement after the vote:

“I am living proof of why we need to level the playing field between victims of crime and the accused, and I’d like to thank Representatives Novak and Crowley, Senators Wanggaard and Carpenter, all of our supporters, and each of the lawmakers from both sides of the aisle who stood up today to help move us one step closer to making equal rights for crime victims a reality in Wisconsin.”

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.

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