Rep. Loudenbeck: Bill for unaccompanied homeless youth passes out of committee unanimously

CONTACT:

Rep. Amy Loudenbeck

Rep.Loudenbeck@legis.wi.gov
(608) 266-9967        

Madison- Today, the Assembly Committee on Children and Families unanimously passed Assembly Bill 52 (AB-52) authored by Rep. Amy Loudenbeck (R-Clinton). The bill will now awaits a vote before the full Assembly.

AB-52 would allow a minor who is 17 years of age and is confirmed by a school district’s Local Educational Agency Liaison to be both unaccompanied (not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian) and homeless (living situation is not “fixed, regular, and adequate”) to contract for admission to a shelter facility or transitional living program. Rep. Loudenbeck authored the bill with Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills). Neighboring legislators Rep. Deb Kolste (D-Janesville) and Sen. Janis Ringhand (D-Evansville) are co-sponsors of the bill.

“Unaccompanied and homeless youth are vulnerable to human trafficking, exploitation, and abuse. Providing these young people with an opportunity for safe shelter and other supports will reduce their risk for negative outcomes,” said Loudenbeck. “Local advocates for unaccompanied and homeless youth in my district asked me to help them find options for older teens without stable housing who want to complete their high school education. This bill provides a narrow option that respects parents’ rights and maintains the integrity of the juvenile court and justice systems.”

A diverse group of organizations, including End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin, Kids Forward, League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Association of Family and Children’s Agencies, and Wisconsin Catholic Conference have registered in support of AB-52.

More information on the bill is available here: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2019/proposals/reg/asm/bill/ab52

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