MADISON – Today, the State Assembly voted on Senate Bills 71 and 94, bills aimed at addressing the sexual assault kit backlog in Wisconsin. The bills will be sent to Governor Tony Evers’ desk to await his signature.
Senator Agard released the following statement regarding the passage of the two bills:
“This is a huge win for survivors across our state. I have championed legislation regarding sexual assault kits and our state’s backlog for three sessions. I have heard from victims and survivors of sexual assault. I carry their stories with me, and have promised them I will work tirelessly on their behalf to create a better system. The bills passed today will ensure a procedure is in place that upholds survivors’ dignity, choice, and the right to a fair and just process, protecting those who choose not to report at the time of an assault, or who change their minds. While the passage of these bills is a victory, there is much more work to be done on this issue in the state of Wisconsin.
“Senate Bills 71 and 94 are important pieces of bipartisan legislation for survivors of sexual violence across our state. While it sometimes feels like we are destined to continue operating solely within our own parties, these bills show all Wisconsinites that we can be a better, more deliberative and cooperative body – that we can come together to make effective change.
“Due to the hard work of a bipartisan group of legislators and expertise of advocates, law enforcement, health care providers, and Attorney Generals Josh Kaul and Brad Schimel – I know these bills will be comprehensive in their approach to solving the issue of sexual assault kit storage, processing, and tracking in Wisconsin.
“I want to thank the bipartisan group of legislators committed to making these bills a reality. These bills are long overdue, but I am grateful that survivors in our state will finally have a process that honors their dignity and properly supports them. For survivors across our state, we see you, we hear you, we honor you with the passage of these bills. These bills are for you.”