December 15, 2009
Contact: Sen. Taylor 608-266-5810
DOMESTIC, SEXUAL, & GENDER MOTIVATED VIOLENCE LEGISLATION TAKES THE SENATE STAGE
Judiciary Committee begins work on substantive legislation closing loopholes & protecting victims
(MADISON) Legislation closing loopholes and protecting the victims of domestic, sexual, or gender motivated violence is taking center stage in the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Corrections, Insurance, Campaign Finance Reform, and Housing. Senator Lena C Taylor (D-Milwaukee), chair of the committee today held the day of committee action on this legislation in a series of hearings and committee votes.
“These acts of violence are an insidious crime, but they are crimes we can stop through eﬀective legislation, educating families and communities, and vigorous prosecution,” Taylor commented. “These bills will act quickly to close loopholes and create protections for victims of domestic, sexual, or gender motivated violence. The hearing today is the ﬁrst in a series of actions the Senate is taking to prepare this legislation for the January ﬂoorperiod.”
The committee took testimony on 4 bills in today’s hearing:
Assembly Bill 419 – The Victim Privacy Protection Act, authored by Rep. Mark Radcliffe (D-Black River Falls) and Sen. Taylor, creates a civil rape shield law, modeled on the Federal Rules of Evidence, which would limit a defendants’ cross examination of a rape victim regarding his or her sexual history. The bill also keeps personally identiﬁable information about a sexual assault victim listed on a crime victim compensation form conﬁdential.
Senate Bill 283/Assembly Bill 410 – Closing the 72 loophole in bail orders, authored by Rep. Ted Zigmunt (D-Francis Creek) and Sen. Taylor changes the 72-hour no-contact statute to provide that a violation of the conditional release is also a Class A misdemeanor. Currently, under state law, when a defendant contacts the victim in this time period in a way that it not intimidating or harassing, the loophole does not classify this crime as bail-jumping despite the fact it is a violation of bail.
Senate Bill 344 – The Wisconsin Gender Hate Crimes Act, authored by Senator Taylor and Rep. Joe Parisi (D-Madison), would make crimes motivated by a victim’s gender eligible for the hate crimes penalty enhancer. 27 other states currently have hate crimes legislation in the law books for crimes motivated by gender.
In addition, the committee will take action in the future on other bills relating to domestic and sexual violence
Senate Bill 337 , authored by Sen. Spencer Coggs (D-Milwaukee) and Rep. Therese Berceau (D-Madison) relating to: creating a civil cause of action for acts of violence motivated by gender.
Senate Bill 380 , authored by Senator Taylor and Rep. Tony Staskunas (D-West Allis), relating to: the possession ofa ﬁrearm by a person who has committeda misdemeanor crime of domestic violence and providing a penalty
Senate Bill 381 , authored by Senator Taylor and Rep. Penny Bernard-Schaber (D-Appleton), relating to: notice of ﬁrearm prohibition when served with notice of an injunction hearing and process for surrendering ﬁrearms following the granting of certain injunctions.
The Joint Review Committee on Criminal Penalties which assesses and evaluates proposed penalty structures and costs or savings of legislation will also review Senate Bills 380 and 381 prior to passage.
The bills heard today are expected to be before the committee for executive session in January following the Christmas holiday recess.