[Madison, WI] – During the State Assembly’s Floor Session on Tuesday afternoon, six proposals authored by State Representative Calvin Callahan (R-Tomahawk) were passed by the full legislative body. The topics of these proposals ranged from protecting state corrections staff to helping recruit and retain law enforcement officers to ensuring folks are held accountable under state law.
“I’m proud to see these important bills make it to the Assembly Floor and receive support from my colleagues,” stated Rep. Callahan. “These proposals help to address legislative language issues in our state statutes, assist our law enforcement officers across the state, both rural and urban, with staffing shortages, and aim to better protect our state Department of Corrections (DOC) staff and teachers.”
Callahan-authored bills passed by the Assembly on Tuesday are as follows:
- SB 229 – makes a simple change to Wisconsin state law to ensure that individuals who are required to be placed under lifetime supervision by the DOC are unable to refuse the installation of a GPS tracking device, matching the penalty for refusal with the penalty already on the books for tampering with the device.
- AB 251 – closes a loophole in state law and holds individuals accountable for falsely representing oneself as a public officer, employee, or the employee of a utility with the intent to mislead others
- AB 824 – increases the maximum imprisonment penalty for battery against a corrections officer by five years and requires that sentence to run consecutively to any sentences currently being served
- AB 825 – requires the DOC to make a record of any battery against a correctional officer or teacher by a prisoner and requires those records be reported to the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the facility
- AB 832 – lessens the financial burden on new law enforcement recruits and law enforcement agencies across the state by using funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to reimburse the cost of police academy for all recruits and doubling the reimbursement amount to law enforcement agencies for recertification training
- AB 835 – provides another tool law enforcement agencies can use to recruit and retain officers by waiving license fees for deer hunting and fishing for law enforcement officers and also creates a fee-free camping weekend for officers over Memorial Day weekend
“Wisconsin’s correctional institutions are suffering from dangerously high staff vacancy rates,” continued Rep. Callahan. “Lincoln Hills, for example, stands at a staff vacancy rate of 41%. I’ve heard horrible stories from the employees at Lincoln Hills, and now, these corrections bills I’ve authored make safety the state’s priority when it comes to our state corrections staff. Additionally, our state has 13,576 law enforcement officers working, which is the lowest number in at least a decade. AB’s 832 & 835, bills that are part of the Law Enforcement Support Bill Package, will help equip our law enforcement with the tools they need to recruit and retain officers and, overall, protect our communities.”