Bipartisan Victims’ Rights Legislation Passes State Senate, Assembly With Overwhelming Bipartisan Support

Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin clears final legislative hurdle, on to statewide ballot in April 2020

MADISON  Legislation to update the state Constitution to ensure equal rights for crime victims is moving on to a statewide ballot initiative after passing the Wisconsin State Senate and Assembly with overwhelming bipartisan support. After clearing the Legislature for the first time in 2017, today’s votes represented the final legislative hurdle required to send the measure before Wisconsin voters for approval through a statewide ballot.

Introduced for second consideration as Assembly Joint Resolution 1/Senate Joint Resolution 2 the bipartisan victims’ rights legislation known as Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin was authored by State Senators Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) and Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) and State Representatives Todd Novak (R-Dodgeville) and David Crowley (D-Milwaukee). The legislation was approved in the State Senate with a vote of 27 to 5 and in the Assembly with a vote of 82 to 15.

“Today was a huge victory for victims of crime all over Wisconsin” said Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin State Chair Teri Jendusa-Nicolai, who became one of the state’s most prominent victims’ rights advocates after surviving a brutal attack by her ex-husband. “I’m thrilled that our lawmakers have once again overwhelmingly demonstrated their support for survivors like myself by advancing Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin through this final hurdle in the State Legislature. My story, and those of so many other victims, clearly demonstrated the need to level the playing field between victims of crime and the accused, and I’m so grateful to lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for moving Wisconsin one step closer to making Marsy’s Law a reality in our state.”

Having cleared second consideration in the Legislature, the measure will now be put before Wisconsin voters for final ratification through statewide ballot in April of 2020.




About Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin

Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin is a grassroots coalition that has developed a unique proposal to give victims of crime equal rights in our state, building on Wisconsin’s laws and history of leading on this issue. Marsy’s Law is named after Marsalee “Marsy” Nicholas of California who was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983. Only one week after her death, Marsy’s mother and brother, Henry T. Nicholas, walked into a grocery store where they were confronted by the accused murderer. The family, who had just come from a visit to Marsy’s grave, was unaware that the accused had been released on bail. In an effort to honor his sister, Dr. Nicholas has made it his life’s mission to give victims and their families constitutional protections and equal rights.

Victims and supporters interested in sharing their stories can email [email protected].