Kaul needs new civil rights lawsuit energy | Information

MADISON – Democratic lawmakers in Madison want their Republican counterparts to give the Attorney General more power in civil rights suits.

Senator LaTonya Johnson, D-Milwaukee, passed legislation Thursday to extend Attorney General Josh Kaul’s powers to civil lawsuits related to housing, education and healthcare discrimination.

“Racism and discrimination are alive and well in the United States, making it more difficult for underrepresented communities to secure decent housing, employment or education,” said Johnson. “All Wisconsinites deserve an opportunity to flourish, and this bill ensures that the constitutional rights of our state’s citizens are properly and fairly enforced.”

Attorneys-general in 11 other states and the District of Columbia have similar powers to prosecute civil discrimination cases.

Kaul said adding Wisconsin to the list would send a clear message.

“We need to make sure that our civil rights for every Wisconsinite are more than just rights on paper,” said Kaul.

The law provides civil rights lawsuit penalties of $ 50,000 for an initial violation and up to $ 100,000 for each subsequent violation committed within a seven-year period. The legislation also includes a civil asset forfeiture provision that would allow the state to seize property in civil rights suits.

It is far from certain that the Republicans who control Wisconsin’s legislation will not approve the legislation.

Republican lawmakers voted in late 2018 to limit Kaul’s ability to dismiss or join lawsuits without their permission. The Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld this law after several legal challenges.

Comments are closed.