WISCONSIN - On Tuesday, the State Assembly passed legislation that aims to change how violent sex offenders are placed on supervised release in the state.
Sen. Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point) cosponsored the bill and says the changes are meant to help protect rural areas of the state.
"Rural areas of the state, they become the dumping grounds for these individuals and obviously people that live in those communities don't see that as fair, when you talk to local law enforcement officials they don't think that's fair, same with the district attorneys," said Testin.
The bill would change the law to ensure that offenders have to be placed back into their county of origin.
A property in the town of Blackwell is currently being considered to place not only a Forest County offender, but also an offender from Racine County. If the bill became law, it would prevent offenders from other counties from being placed in towns like Blackwell.
The bill would also have counties create temporary committees made up of local officials... along with a representative with the department of health, to determine where an offender in their county should be placed.
"We've heard from day one that local officials can determine placement better than a judge from several counties away can. And we want to make sure locals have more input and say on where these individuals are placed," said Testin.
Testin says the bill will be voted on by the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee next week. He says the plan is to get the legislation brought to the senate floor by the end of this month or early February.