Sen. Testin on sex offender placement bill turnaround

By WSAU News 

STEVENS POINT, WI (WSAU) -- After a measure that would have prevented the placement of sexually violent persons in communities away from their home county was vetoed by Governor Scott Walker in the state budget, Senator Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point) has put the bill back to the state Senate virtually unchanged.

Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point) was one of the co-authors of the vetoed bill, but she wasn't an original sponsor on Testin's bill. The Senator says that could easily change.

"If there's good policy that's going to be to the benefit of the state, I think that's something we can all work together on. I don't believe my office has been contacted [by Rep. Shankland's office] to this point, but the door and the invitation is there," said Testin.

"We both represent some of these communities that have had this issue brought upon them, and I just want to see this result. I don't care who takes credit or who gets credit for this, so long as we can get it to the Governor's desk and have it become law."

Rep. Shankland found the situation to be peculiar, as the language in Sen. Testin's bill is very similar to the one she and Rep. Mark Born put together, but Testin says that time was his main factor in acting so quickly to turn the bill around.

Testin has been involved in this issue since the public hearings in the Portage County Town of Alban, when it was first announced that a second offender would be placed there.  According to Testin, the Senate won't be back in session until October 31st, giving committees a month to hold public hearings and get the bill through the proper channels.