Politician Double Standard

Assembly Bill 62

June 2, 2009

Assembly Bill 62 eliminates a double standard in state law that has been called a “home-court advantage” for state lawmakers when it comes to where they are prosecuted if charged with a crime. Current state law in Wisconsin prosecutes citizens who are accused of crimes in the county where the offense is alleged to have occurred. But a change in the law enacted in early 2007 allows civil and criminal cases involving certain state officials including legislators to be handled in their home counties rather than where alleged crimes are said to have been committed. The Government Accountability Board is in favor of revising the law to bolster the Board’s ability to investigate possible violations of the ethics, lobbying and campaign finance laws.

AB 62 was introduced and referred to the Assembly Committee on Judiciary and Ethics on February 17, 2009. WDC testified in support of the bill at an April 21, 2009 public hearing. The committee approved it on a 6-4 vote on June 2, 2009.