DEVELOPING: sexually violent persons policy change vetoed in state budget

By WSAW News

PORTAGE COUNTY, Wis. (WSAW) -- Within the governor's list of budget vetoes this cycle, a policy change Representative Katrina Shankland of Stevens Point fought hard for, with bi-partisan support.

The policy would have adjusted the way sexually violent persons are placed within communities.

It's an issue, Shankland says is important to our area, based on the number of sexually violent persons moving to north central Wisconsin, where they have virtually no ties.

Within just the past few months, two have moved to the Town of Alban in Portage County.

"What concerns me the most is while this is not law even more people could potentially be shifted from one community to another and the people who lose out, the people who don't have a voice at the table, are the people in those communities like the Town of Alban," Rep. Shankland said.

Shankland says she's already requested a meeting with the governor to discuss the issue further. She says the reason she was given for the veto, was because the issue was "non-fiscal policy."

In a statement Governor Walker says “While I understand the importance of updating the process for placing sexually violent persons in the community, the issues the Department of Health Services and communities face in completing placement plans and how critical it is that these individuals be placed in appropriate settings for the health and safety of the citizens in those counties, I am vetoing these provisions as non-fiscal policy. This policy eliminates current law provisions requiring that residential options be a specific distance from any school premises, child care facility, public park, place of worship, or youth center and should therefore be thoroughly vetted through the regular Legislative process, with input from the public and counties.”