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Evers vetoes Tougher on Crime bills, approves OWI sentencing changes

By: Michaela Paukner, [email protected]//February 28, 2020//

Evers vetoes Tougher on Crime bills, approves OWI sentencing changes

By: Michaela Paukner, [email protected]//February 28, 2020//

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Gov. Tony Evers vetoed four bills in the Republican-backed “Tougher on Crime” bill package on Friday. The measures aimed to impose tougher sanctions and sentences on criminals, including making it easier to revoke extended supervision, parole or probation for people charged with a crime.

Evers said the bills “revert to antiquated policies which resulted in mass incarceration” in his veto message on AB805, the bill asking to revoke extended supervision, parole and probation. He said the $200 million fiscal estimate to build new prisons to handle the influx of inmates doesn’t include ongoing incarceration costs and burdens taxpayers.

“We should be coming up with ways to reduce prison populations and incentivize rehabilitation, not the other way around,” Evers wrote in the veto message for AB 809, the bill to limit eligibility for early release from prison and parole.

The governor also signed 11 bills into law on Friday, including:

  • Senate Bill 50, which creates requirements for the use of body cameras by law enforcement officers and establishes requirements for releasing video, training and data retention.
  • Senate Bill 6, which increases the minimum sentence a sentencing court is required to impose for a person convicted of a fifth or sixth OWI offense, with some judicial discretion, from six months to a minimum sentence of 18 months in prison.
  • Assembly Bill 222, which provides a technical fix to 2017 Wisconsin Act 172 to allow that act’s “four strikes and you’re out” policy revoking the license of an individual convicted of a fourth or subsequent OWI offense to be implemented as intended.
  • Assembly Bill 47, which creates a new process and standards for appointing a guardian of a child and creates four types of guardianship: full, limited, temporary and emergency.
  • Senate Bill 70, which makes it a class I felony for any person to bring contraband into a jail or prison with the intent of keeping the object for themselves, in addition to the already established prohibition on bringing contraband into a jail with the intent of providing it to another person.
  • Assembly Bill 804, which enhances the penalty for victim intimidation from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class G felony if the underlying crime is an alleged act of domestic abuse.
  • Assembly Bill 86, which provides the governing bodies of towns with multiple means to obtain financial protection in the case of malfeasance on the part of designated municipal officials by allowing towns the option to either require municipal judges to execute and file an official bond or obtain dishonesty insurance for a judge.


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