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Legal field highlights of Gov. Evers’ $91 billion state budget plan

By SCOTT BAUER
Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. (AP) Highlights of Gov. Tony Evers’ state budget proposal submitted to the Legislature on Tuesday:

GENERAL BUDGET:

  • The $91 billion state budget would increase state spending by 7.3% in the first year and 2% in the second. The budget runs from July through June 2023.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE:

  • Overhaul the juvenile justice system to create a sentence adjustment procedure for youth under 18; eliminate life without the possibility of extended supervision for juvenile offenders; and prohibit the use of restraints on anyone under the age of 18 when appearing in court.
  • Return 17-year-olds to the juvenile court system, rather than treat them as adults as they are currently. Modify the conditions under which a youth under the age of 18 may be waived into adult court and increase the age of delinquency from 10 to 12.
  • Counties, rather than the state Department of Corrections, would have responsibility for juvenile offenders.
  • Make changes to the way adults are sentenced, released, revoked, and are eligible for expungement with the goal of reducing the state’s prison population.
  • Establish procedures for processing and storing sexual assault kits.
  • Ban the private sale of firearms. Instead, require that nearly all sales be done through federally licensed firearm dealers with background checks conducted on recipients.
  • Pass a “red-flag” law that allows for a judge to order that a person not be allowed to possess a firearm if they are determined to be a danger to themselves or others.

VOTING:

  • Implement automatic voter registration when a person gets a driver’s license.

VAPING AND MARIJUANA:

  • Legalize recreational and medical marijuana.
  • Increase the age to purchase tobacco and vaping products from 18 to 21, prohibit the use of a vapor product indoors or on school grounds.

EQUITY

  • Establish a diversity, equity and inclusion program to promote equity in all programs. Create a chief equity officer and 18 equity officers across state government.
  • Reinstate domestic partnership benefits for all state and local government employee insurance programs administered by the Department of Employee Trust Funds.
  • Make reference to marriages in law gender neutral.
  • Specify that employers can’t discriminate based on gender identity

OTHER

  • Require the Legislature to take up the redistricting maps proposed by a commission created by the governor, something Republicans who control the Legislature are certain to reject.
  • Increase pay for state employees by 2% in 2022 and another 2% in 2023.

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