Madison, WI – Representative Rick Gundrum (R-Slinger) voted for Assembly Joint Resolution 1/Senate Joint Resolution 2 today, which will amend the Wisconsin State Constitution regarding bail. After passage of the resolution, he released the following statement:

“High crime continues to be a major problem in Wisconsin and one of the primary reasons for that is the setting of low bail for dangerous criminals. Tragedy after tragedy takes place because judges cannot consider the threat a defendant poses to the public. Wisconsin is one of the most restrictive states in the nation when it comes to what factors judges can consider when they set bail.

“The Waukesha Christmas parade massacre is the highest profile example of what happens when criminals take advantage of low bail. According to a Fox 6 investigation from 2021, 1 out of every 5 homicide suspects was already out on bail or signature bond for another felony crime. A special report by U.S. Department of Justice indicated that violent criminals had a higher rate of reoffending while on
pretrial release.

“It is time for some serious reform to Wisconsin’s bail system. This amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution will remove restrictions on determining bail by allowing judges to consider the previous record of conviction for violent crimes of the defendant and the safety of the community. By providing judges with more information and resources, we can more effectively protect all of our great communities
in Wisconsin.

“Since I became a member of the Assembly, we have passed many anti-crime bills only for Governor Evers to veto them. The people of Wisconsin want safety and since the governor has ignored them, we as legislators believe it is time to go directly to the people.”

Assembly Joint Resolution 1/Senate Joint Resolution 2 will now go to a statewide referendum in the April election. Any change to the Wisconsin Constitution must be approved by the voters.

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