(Madison)—State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) said that based upon his own experience legislation aimed at helping the Green Bay Police Department hire Jose Del Rio, a local DACA resident as a police officer faces major hurdles that could block it from becoming law. Wisconsin law currently requires police officers to be United States citizens but that is not a requirement to become a Wisconsin State Trooper.
“It’s nice that Rep. Macco and Rep. Steffen have finally come around to wanting to help the Green Bay Police Department in their efforts to hire this fine young man,” said Hansen who authored a bill removing the requirement earlier this year. “Unfortunately, based upon my efforts earlier this session I think they are going to run into some pretty big road blocks here in the Senate, and all of them will be from Republican senators.”
Hansen drafted legislation that would remove the citizenship requirement and handed the draft over to an area Republican senator to introduce specifically to avoid the bill getting bogged down in partisan politics.
“Not long after we were told the bill wouldn’t be introduced because Senator Wanggaard, Chair of the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety did not support it and would not give it a hearing. It’s very unfortunate that the Republicans could not make this happen. Had there been a hearing I believe they would have been impressed with Jose and with the Green Bay Police Department’s plan for him. Instead, our community is being deprived of a very fine officer.”
Hansen said the bill was a starting point and that he was open to any changes that might be needed to get it passed into law.
“Unfortunately, there are Republican senators who don’t support and won’t support changing the law on this issue. While it’s nice that Rep. Macco and Rep. Steffen appear to want to fix this problem I’m not sure they will get the support from enough Republican senators to pass it.”