Wisconsin Assembly puts bail amendment on April ballot

Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 12:09 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 19, 2023 at 12:56 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Assembly gave a final, bipartisan push Thursday to a proposed constitutional amendment that would tighten bail requirements.

The measure will now go before voters to be ratified in the statewide April 4 election.

The measure would make it harder for violent criminals to get out of jail on bail, but opponents are concerned it could worsen inequities in the criminal justice system and be applied too broadly.

State law requires the Legislature to approve a constitutional amendment in two consecutive sessions. Its passage in the Assembly by a 74-23 vote marks the culmination of a push by Republican lawmakers to speed the amendment before voters.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers is unable to veto a constitutional amendment.

Democratic lawmakers said they were concerned about the scope of the amendment, which lawmakers plan to clarify before April.