The state Assembly met Thursday for the last time in 2017 with a packed agenda.
During the almost seven hours of debate, Democratic representatives brought up how the “Trump-Walker agenda” is not working for Wisconsin.
— JoCasta Zamarripa (@repjocasta) November 9, 2017
Among the bills discussed were legislation that would set state policy on police body camera use, reimburse Wisconsin National Guard members full tuition and educate truck drivers on the signs of human trafficking.
The bill reimbursing tuition for Wisconsin National Guard members passed both the state Assembly and state Senate with bipartisan support, and now heads to Gov. Scott Walker’s desk.
Legislation educating drivers regarding the signs of human trafficking also passed with bipartisan support in a vote of 93 to 0.
The Assembly also passed legislation to update Wisconsin’s state Constitution to ensure equal rights for crime victims, also known as Marsy’s Law, in a vote of 81-10. During the next legislative session, the measure will be up for second consideration.
The police body camera bill, authored by Rep. Jesse Kremer, R-R-Kewaskum, passed the state Assembly, but not without a debate.
Assembly Democrats brought up the concern that the bill wouldn’t grant transparency to the public. Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa, D-Milwaukee, understands the need for state-wide regulations, but said this bill would further the divide between police and community members.
“I have a responsibility … to fight for those underserved communities that historically have not had representation,” Zamarripa said.
Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison, argued one of the most important issues — when is a camera turned on and when is it allowed to be off — is not addressed in the bill. Taylor also brought up issues with how certain parts of the bill are worded, which she said could result in confusion.
Kremer said over the last couple decades, people have given up a lot of privacy in the interest of security. In the interest of transparency, there is footage that should be released, but there is also footage that should not be released, he said.
With a state policy in place, there will be an increase in the amount of agencies using body cameras, Kremer said.
The next Assembly floor period will be in January.