MADISON – State Representative Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna) celebrated three more recommendations from the Speaker’s Task Force on Racial Disparities becoming law today. The signing of these bills – Assembly Bill 329, Assembly Bill 333, and Assembly Bill 335 – brings to total number of reforms adopted from the task force to eight.
“Nearly two years ago, the Speaker’s Task Force on Racial Disparities began working to improve relationships between communities of color and law enforcement officers,” said Rep. Steineke. “It is great to see three more proposals make their way across the finish line, and I applaud the efforts of everyone involved, especially members of law enforcement and the general public, who participated collaboratively to help move our state forward.”
The Speaker’s Task Force on Racial Disparities was announced back in August 2020 with the intention of focusing on racial disparities, educational opportunities, public safety, and police policies and standards throughout Wisconsin. The task force, which was co-chaired by Representative Steineke and state Representative Shelia Stubbs (D-Madison), sought bi-partisan solutions to these concerns.
The first round of recommendations were signed into law in June 2021. These reforms included prohibitions against certain containment procedures, requirements for additional transparency in police departments, and the creation of a community-oriented policing-house program to help connect officers with members of their local communities. The three new proposals signed will require an annual report detailing the use of no-knock warrants, expand the crisis grant program, and create a police body camera grant program.
“While there is more work to be done, the eight bills signed into law are a great step forward in addressing racial disparities in Wisconsin,” Rep. Steineke concluded. “They stand as a testament to what Republicans and Democrats can achieve together when they put politics aside and are willing to have tough conversations.”