Rhetoric vs. Reality
Recent legislative actions confirm the fact that Republicans value and support Wisconsin women, children, and families. Efforts to undermine Republicans and Governor Scott Walker with negative “War on Women” messages have largely ignored numerous bills related to women, children, and families that were signed into law during the 2011-2012 legislative session.
In the spirit of sharing positive news about our accomplishments, I am highlighting ten recently enacted laws supported by advocates for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and sex crimes against children.
All of the following bills were introduced by Republican legislators and passed out of the Senate and Assembly with bipartisan support before being signed into law.
- Act 81 adds certain school employees to the list of mandated reporters for child abuse and requires child abuse and neglect training and education for public school employees.
- Act 82 increases the penalty for a child care provider who sexually assaults or causes bodily harm to a child.
- Act 87 is the “Safe Families” law which allows for a parent to voluntarily place their child with a non-relative in cases when short term care is needed.
- Act 266 adds the requirement of GPS monitoring in certain cases for persons who violate restraining orders.
- Act 267 increases the penalty for persons who violate restraining orders.
- Act 271 strengthens our laws to protect victims of human trafficking and gives law enforcement additional tools to combat crimes related to child sex trafficking and child pornography. Child sex trafficking is a serious crime which is often “hidden in plain sight”. I authored this bill at the request of Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen.
- Act 273 makes domestic violence committed in front of a child a more serious offense.
- Act 274 allows victims of domestic violence to change their names without the requirement of a public notice.
- Act 277 increases the penalty for persons who are repeat domestic violence offenders.
- Act 282 expands the list of felonies exempt from the six-year statute of limitations to include first-degree sexual assault and other crimes. Rep. Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna) received the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault 2012 Voices of Courage Award for his work on this important issue.
These legislative accomplishments are representative of the good public policy that elected officials from across Wisconsin – men and women, Republicans and Democrats - are working together to advance. These policies demonstrate the commitment of members of the Wisconsin State Legislature and Governor Scott Walker to protect Wisconsin women, children, and families.
Wisconsin voters must recognize that the so-called “War on Women” is a false alarm set off by political strategists to detract from the real issues facing our state and our country. The rhetoric and deceptive statements have been crafted very specifically to anger women voters and appeal to our emotions. These deceitful allegations ignore facts, twist the truth, and are an insult to the female electorate.
The author, Rep. Amy Loudenbeck (R-Clinton), is the 45th Assembly District Representative in the Wisconsin State Assembly. The 45th Assembly District includes portions of Rock and Walworth Counties. You may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her office at (608) 266-9967.