Bail Reform, Lower Property Taxes, Franklin State Champs

 

Option2_WichgersBanner_2019.jpg (1)
   

In This Issue

  1. Bail Reform
  2. Lower Property Taxes
  3. In the District - Franklin HS State Football Champs
  4. Contacting My Office

Bail Reform

Last Thursday, I met with the Waukesha County Sheriff's office and other Waukesha-area legislators. You can find our press release here.

The main topic of discussion was bail reform.

One legislative solution offered came from Cindi Duchow (R-Town of Delafield). I support her constitutional amendment to modify the discretion given to judges at a bail hearing. 

Per the analysis of the Legislative Reference Bureau, this constitutional amendment, proposed to the 2021 legislature on first consideration, does all of the following:

1. Provides that the accused is eligible for release before conviction under reasonable conditions designed to protect members of the community from serious harm, not just serious bodily harm, in addition to the other conditions specified above.

2. Authorizes the legislature to provide by law that a court may deny release to a person accused of certain serious felonies if the court finds that available conditions of release will not adequately protect members of the community from serious harm, not just serious bodily harm, in addition to the other findings specified above.

3. Eliminates the requirement that monetary bail may be imposed only upon a finding that there is a reasonable basis to believe that it is necessary to assure the appearance of the accused in court.

Instead, the constitutional amendment authorizes the court, in fixing the amount of bail, to consider the seriousness of the offense charged, the previous criminal record of the accused, the probability that the accused will appear in court, and the need to protect members of the community from serious harm or prevent the intimidation of witnesses.

One benefit to the constitutional amendment is that it's outside the purview of a governor's veto. However, to amend the constitution the legislature has to pass the resolution in two consecutive sessions and then it will be put to a statewide vote. This process will take years. 

The governor has not shown any leadership in this area for reforms, thus a constitutional amendment may be the most effective way for reform. 

For further commentary I recommend this article, "Despite Media Blackout, Wisconsin GOP Lawmakers Are Still Working To Prevent Another Waukesha Christmas Massacre," by Kylee Zempel. 



The tragedy in Waukesha left me speechless. Like many of you, I knew people that were murdered that day. I pray for their families in this time of need. 


Lower Property Taxes

The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) estimates an average reduction in property taxes of 3% for this year. 

LFB estimates the average home's property taxes increased by 1% this past decade (from $3,183 in December 2011 to $3,214 in December 2021.) Important to note the legislature switched from Democratic control to Republican control for this past decade. 

Put this in comparison to the previous decade with Democratic-led legislatures and governor. LFB shows there was a 31% increase in property taxes for the average home from 2001-2011. 

You may remember that Governor Evers proposed a budget that would have raised taxes on Wisconsinites by more than $1 billion. The legislature rejected this massive increase and put forward a responsible budget with an income tax reduction for the hardworking taxpayers of this state. 

You can read more about it here


In the District

photo courtesy of Scott Ash/ Now News Group

Congratulations to Franklin High School and their football team! On November 19th the Franklin Sabers defeated the Sun Prairie Cardinals 38-17 to win the WIAA Division 1 State Championship at Camp Randall Stadium. 

Congratulations to all of the parents, family, and friends for their support to bring a state championship back to Franklin High School. 

(In the above photo, Head Coach Louis Brown, celebrates with his team. Below, is a photo of myself with my son and friends at the game.)  



Contacting My Office

My Capitol office is here to help you with general inquiries as well as questions and concerns regarding legislative matters. Feel free to contact me or my staff. We are always ready to assist you in your needs. Please visit my website for press releases and other Capitol updates.