Madison, WI – A freshman southeast Wisconsin lawmaker had one of his public safety bills, Senate Bill 86, pass through the Senate Judiciary & Public Safety Committee yesterday. State Representative Nik Rettinger (R-Mukwonago) testified before the committee that the bill would require prosecutors to gain the approval of a court to drop various serious charges such as a felon illegally in possession of a firearm, crimes against children, sexual assault, and reckless driving that causes great bodily harm. It would also require a court that authorizes dropping or amending a charge to file a report with the legislature to bring much needed transparency to the public eye.
Upon passage in the Senate Committee, Represented Rettinger issued the following statement:
“I am happy to see my Senate colleagues joining in supporting this common sense, proactive, pro-victim legislation. As I have shared many times previously, we must get more serious about these types of crimes before they escalate to a tragedy. Whether we look to the Waukesha Christmas Parade attack, the reckless driving epidemic in the Milwaukee area leading to horrific crashes, or the loss of a police officer in the line of duty, we simply cannot wait to be shocked into action after the fact by a high profile incident. Nor should the victims of these now all too common serious crimes, be left without justice when only a slap on the wrist is provided.”
Representative Rettinger’s bill is supported by several police groups, including the Milwaukee Police Association and Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association. This legislation was a product of a number of fellow Assembly legislators, who joined Rep. Rettinger in a Criminal Justice Working Group not long after the new session began.
The legislators shared belief in supporting public safety and the need to identify solutions to the growing crime wave impacting Milwaukee and surrounding counties led to the creation of the group.
“The legislation that came from our Criminal Justice Working Group continues to be more relevant than ever with growing and often shocking crimes seen over the summer in Milwaukee and Madison. Two judges in my home county of Waukesha, serving in the criminal division, informed me earlier this year that a majority of the defendants that have come before them have a Milwaukee address. Many also have cases pending against them already in Milwaukee. We need to halt the revolving door of the criminal justice system so victims can find justice and communities feel safe.”
Senate Bill 86 and its companion Bill Assembly Bill 57 now awaits action by the full State Senate.