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Wisconsin AG to push for gun control, $115 million in grants

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul on Monday announced a $115 million legislative package to strengthen gun control and provide grants for community policing and programs for mental-health treatment.

The Democratic attorney general’s proposals include money for a wide array of programs related to criminal justice programs, mental health, substance abuse, re-entry opportunities and recruiting and retaining police officer, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. It also includes gun-control measures, like universal background checks, that have not found success in the Republican-held Legislature.

Kaul released the proposals, which he said would be paid for with a $4.4 billion tax surplus, at the Milwaukee County Courthouse. The city of Milwaukee has been hit especially hard with violent crimes amid a nationwide increase. In 2020, either the city or the county of Milwaukee set new records for homicides, nonfatal shootings, motor vehicle deaths and overdoses.

Kaul’s opponent in next year’s election, Fond du Lac County District Attorney Eric Toney, disparaged the proposal as “a recycled, liberal wish list.”

But Kaul said the grant programs would give citizens an opportunity to tailor programs to fit their own needs.

“We have a real opportunity right now to invest resources into communities,” he said.

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