MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin Democrats continue to advance common-sense policies to support stronger and safer communities with the recent introduction of Attorney General Josh Kaul’s Safer Wisconsin package by Assembly Democrats.

Safer Wisconsin is a comprehensive set of proposals to invest in a broad array of public safety programs. With the pandemic having strained already under-resourced local services, now is the time to support local communities with the funding and statutory changes they need to ensure safer neighborhoods.

Attorney General Kaul’s Safer Wisconsin package would ensure that local law enforcement has the resources to: 

  1. Strengthen community trust and prevent crime. Safer Wisconsin proposes significant investments in community policing and prosecution, violence prevention programs, victim services, and re-entry programs that reduce recidivism. It also would provide additional funding for law enforcement training and ongoing state funding for school safety.
  2. Keep guns out of the hands of people who’ve been shown to be dangerous. Safer Wisconsin would tackle gun violence by expanding background checks, prohibiting ghost guns, increasing the felony classification for repeat felon-in-possession and straw purchasing offenses, and authorizing judges to issue extreme risk protection orders.
  3. Addressing substance use disorders and mental health crises. Safer Wisconsin would expand treatment and diversion programs, expand substance use disorder treatment in prisons and jails, provide ongoing funding for regional drug prosecutors, and invest in crisis response teams.
  4. Holding offenders accountable. Safer Wisconsin makes reforms to ensure that sexual assault kits are submitted to the state crime labs, as well as implements new initatives such as the creation of a hate crime hotline. It would also invest in violent crime investigators and prosecutors at DOJ, and create a grant program to support officer recruitment and retention programs.

“Wisconsin’s families deserve safe and strong neighborhoods, and that’s the vision of Attorney General Kaul’s Safer Wisconsin,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Ben Wikler. “While Republicans obstruct and divide in an attempt to score political points, Democrats are working to deliver common-sense solutions and address the priorities Wisconsinites care about. We applaud Attorney General Kaul’s work to deliver Safer Wisconsin, and we urge Robin Vos and Republican politicians in the Legislature to bring the Assembly back into session to take up these much-needed reforms – there’s just too much work left to be done before anyone takes a vacation.”

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