The Latest: Wisconsin Assembly passes anti-crime package
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on anti-crime initiatives moving through the Wisconsin Legislature (all times local):
A package of anti-crime bills that would create stiffer penalties for repeat offenders and illegal firearm possession are on their way to Gov. Scott Walker.
The Assembly approved the bills Wednesday. The Senate passed them in November. They now go to Gov. Scott Walker for his signature.
Repeat offenders convicted of serious crimes would face a mandatory five-year minimum sentence. Illegally possessing a gun while on probation, parole or extended release would carry a mandatory three-year sentence.
The legislation also would make carjacking a felony and eliminate a requirement that judges must decide whether to make someone eligible to have his or her record expunged at the time of sentencing. Offenders who are at least a year removed from finishing their sentence could instead request expungement.
Nearly 54 additional prosecutors would be hired statewide under a Republican-backed proposal designed to address a shortfall of staff in Wisconsin district attorneys’ offices.
The idea put forward Wednesday is one of several tough-on-crime bills the Assembly is taking up as it races to complete its work for the session.
Under the plan, the additional prosecutors would go to the 40 most high-need counties as identified in a 2014 study. No counties would get more than two additional prosecutors.
The nearly $4 million cost would be pushed off to the next budget, with the hiring to take place after July 2019.
Other anti-crime bills up for a vote toughen penalties for car jackers, repeat offenders of serious crimes and for illegally possessing a gun while on probation.