February 3, 2020 — Late last week, without any notice or input from subject matter experts, Assembly Republicans introduced legislation that combines language from bills related to Sexual Assault Kit (SAK) processing (AB 214) and the creation of a kit tracking system (AB 358), while also adding harmful provisions related to immigration and school choice that were not part of any conversation related to SAKs to date. As a reminder, AB 214 and AB 358 were introduced with broad bipartisan support last year and both passed the Senate in October. Despite failing to hold a hearing on those bills, the Assembly Health Committee is planning on holding a hearing on the new legislation, a mere six days after circulating the bill. Time is running out on the current legislative session, and this new legislation contains harmful provisions for survivors. We already have bi-partisan legislation that has passed the Senate, however if these bills do not pass soon,Wisconsin will have to wait until 2021 for sexual assault kit reform. Now is not the time to insert political issues into legislation that is so critical for survivors.
Please take the following action today:
1. Call your state legislator today and urge them to oppose LRB 5536/1. It is particularly important that you call your representative if they are on the Assembly Health Committees (see list below). You can identify who represents you here. See below for suggested talking points.
- Today I ask Representative/Senator _____ to oppose LRB 5536/1.
- This legislation was developed in a rushed manner, and did not reflect the input of subject matter experts.
- There is bi-partisan legislation (AB 214 and AB 358) that passed the Senate last year that contains the same or substantially similar provisions as LRB 5536/1.
- However, LRB 5536/1 also contains provisions related to immigration that have not been a part of any conversation about SAKs to date, and which are harmful to survivors.
- Requiring law enforcement officials to notify US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) when an undocumented person is arrested/convicted for sexual assault will create chilling effect for immigrant survivors to engage with the criminal justice system.
- Immigrant survivors already experience barriers to engaging with the criminal justice system – this legislation will only exacerbate those barriers.
- If immigrant survivors do not report to law enforcement, our communities are less safe as offenders will not be held accountable.
- If legislators are serious about preventing a future backlog of unsubmitted SAKs and allowing survivors toanonymously obtain information regarding the location and status of their Sexual Assault Kit (SAK), they should work to pass AB 214 and AB 358.
- I would like a call back to hear how the representative acts on this bill.
Assembly Health Committee:
Representative Sanfelippo (Chair)
Representative Kurtz (Vice-Chair)
Media Contact: Ian Henderson, 608-257-1516, firstname.lastname@example.org