Madison – Today, the State Legislature passed two bills championed by Rep. Barbara Dittrich (R – Oconomowoc), addressing addiction recovery and victim’s rights. Both bills were passed with bipartisan support.

“Too often, the public thinks there is no bipartisanship in our Wisconsin State Capitol. Today, I was proud to show our citizens that important work CAN and does get done in our legislature. With the passage of both AB 129 and SB 267, political partisanship was set aside to accomplish significant measures for Wisconsinites,” stated Rep. Dittrich.

AB 129 closes a loophole and ensures that all healthcare providers who sexually assault their patients would be charged at the same level, regardless of where they practice. It also establishes a Class C felony for a health care provider who has sexual contact or sexual intercourse with a patient to whom the health care provider is providing health care services during any treatment, consultation, interview, or examination.

SB 267 creates a grant program using funds already allocated in the 2023-2025 State Budget for the creation and operation of recovery high schools. The bill would implement a two-tiered grant program, with 60% of grant funds being directed to the creation of recovery high schools, and 40% of grant funds being directed to operations.

Rep. Dittrich added, “Some of Wisconsin’s most vulnerable and challenged residents will now see protection when the Governor adds his signature to these bills. All of us can agree that no patient should be without justice when assaulted within the power imbalance of a healthcare setting. Additionally, the Governor’s ‘Year of Mental Health’ declaration has been seriously addressed by both sides of the aisle. Mental health issues and addiction are akin to twins holding hands, with self-medicating being sadly common. This legislation is one critical part of the mental health solutions the Assembly GOP is working hard to advance.”

Senate Bill 267 was passed in the State Senate unanimously and concurred in by the Assembly; it now goes to the governor’s desk for his signature. Assembly Bill 129 was passed by the Assembly and sent to the Senate.

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