Rep. Steineke to chair racial disparity task force

Published: Aug. 31, 2020 at 8:57 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - Although no immediate action was taken during a special session in the Wisconsin legislature on Monday, Republicans did agree to establish a task force on racial disparities before almost immediately going into recess.

The special session was called by Governor Tony Evers to address police reform following the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha,

Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke (R – Kaukauna) tells Action 2 News will chair the task force.

“It’s not going to look like me, it’s going to look a lot like the communities of color across the state,” said Steineke.

Steineke says this will likely be the very step taken to address what issues involving police transparency and reform need to change.

“I think even law enforcement has recognized the fact that there’s some things that can be done. I’ve had some initial discussions with some of the members of the Black Caucus in the Assembly just today. Very productive and I think we started off on the right foot. Hopefully we can continue that,” said Steineke.

Although no one really expected a vote Monday, as any change in policing policy would require committee hearings and an opportunity for the public to weigh in first, Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) says it’s disappointing that more didn’t happen.

He did however, say he’s confident the discussion isn’t going away.

“I have no doubt that something will happen down the road because the people of this country are calling for it, especially young people,” said Hintz. “You’re seeing it throughout culture, the NFL, the NBA, Major League Baseball, the hockey league, from folks who get it and we think that’s going to be the change. We know a lot of it is going to take time.”

A few of the reforms Evers has requested would ban the use of chokeholds by police and eliminate no-knock warrants, but Action 2 News is told not to expect a whole lot before the November election.

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