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MADISON - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen issued the following statement regarding the passage of Assembly Bill 515 by the Wisconsin State Assembly:
I would like to commend the Wisconsin State Assembly on passing an important bill to protect children. Under todays law, recklessly causing great bodily harm to a child carries less penalty than the same conduct with an adult victim. This is backwards. Children depend on adults for their protection and are more vulnerable to injury when an adult acts recklessly. Those who recklessly cause great bodily injury to children should face a greater penalty. Thats what this bill does, and I am glad the Legislature is fixing this problem.
I would especially like to thank Washburn County Sheriff Terry Dryden and Washburn County District Attorney J. Michael Bitney, who brought this matter up at a Washburn County law enforcement roundtable I held with Representative Hubler and Senator Jauch a year and a half ago. After that roundtable, our offices worked together on this legislation, and I thank Representative Hubler for her continued support of the bill and shepherding it through the Assembly.
In addition, I would like to thank Representatives Kleefisch and Vos for their amendment providing for truth-in-sentencing for those who cause reckless injury to a child.
I look forward to continued movement of this bill through the legislative process.