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Democratic lawmakers want attorney general to pursue civil rights lawsuits

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul
Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul(WEAU)
Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 4:08 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Two Democratic lawmakers are introducing a bill that would allow Wisconsin’s attorney general to file lawsuits over civil rights violations.

Rep. Jimmy Anderson of Fitchburg and Sen. LaTonya Johnson of Milwaukee introduced the proposal Thursday. It would give the state Department of Justice the power to investigate civil rights violations and file lawsuits if someone has engaged in a pattern of violating civil rights in housing, employment or education matters.

The bill would create fines of up to $50,000 for an initial violation and up to $100,000 for each subsequent violation within seven years.

“This is about sending a clear message that enforcing and protecting our civil rights is a priority in Wisconsin and we want our DOJ to protect those rights,” state Sen. Johnson said.

”I have seen all too often communities of color continuously lack fair and equitable housing, education, access to healthcare and employment,” Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul said, but he didn’t offer any specific case examples.

The bill faces an uphill battle in the Republican-controlled Legislature.

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