The Latest: Committee passes juvenile justice plan
Feb. 15, 2018
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on hearing on Gov. Scott Walker juvenile justice overhaul bill (all times local):
A Wisconsin Assembly committee has voted to approve a hastily conceived plan that Gov. Scott Walker wants to pass this year to overhaul Wisconsin's juvenile justice system.
The Assembly Corrections Committee voted unanimously Thursday to pass the bill, moments after a public hearing where no one testified against it. The vote clears the way for the full Assembly to vote on the measure next week.
The bipartisan deal calls for closing the troubled Lincoln Hills prison by mid-2020, moving the most dangerous inmates into state-run facilities and putting counties in charge of housing the rest.
Lobbyists for the Wisconsin Counties Association expressed concerns about the aggressive timeline and how much the plan may cost counties. Lawmakers are promising to work with them and others on concerns as the bill moves forward.
A hastily conceived plan to close the Lincoln Hills juvenile prison and reorganize how young offenders are imprisoned in Wisconsin is moving ahead at a lightning-fast pace in the Legislature.
A draft of the bill was released Thursday, just minutes before a joint Senate and Assembly public hearing. The committees planned to vote on advancing the bill immediately after the hearing.
The measure supported by Gov. Scott Walker would close Lincoln Hills by mid-2020, move the most dangerous inmates into state-run facilities and put counties in charge of housing the rest.
Republican Rep. Michael Schraa says everyone would prefer to have more time and details. But he says there is a short window to act.
Gov. Scott Walker's juvenile justice overhaul plan that calls for closing the troubled Lincoln Hills prison is up for a key committee vote that would make it ready for legislative approval next week.
The bill is up for both a committee hearing and vote on Thursday, an unusual move that speaks to the urgency lawmakers feel to act this year.
Walker wants the Legislature to pass the bill before it adjourns for the year next month.
There is bipartisan support for the measure, but Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald has cautioned that it may not be possible to pass the complex overhaul of the youth prison system this year.
The bill calls for putting the most serious juvenile offenders in state prisons and leaving the counties in charge of housing the rest.