Construction Starts On A Bridge 50 Years In The Making


A new bill would require legislation about crimes to calculate the potential difference in impact on racial minorities.

State Sen. Nikiya Harris is co-sponsoring legislation calling for the minority impact statement. The Milwaukee Democrat says she’s tired of Wisconsin being number one in the percentage of working age African-American men behind bars.

“One out of every eight black males is currently incarcerated,” Harris said. “One in eight! We should be ashamed.”

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The bill would require the racial impact statement for every state legislation that would create a new crime, modify an existing crime, or change the penalty for a crime. UW-Milwaukee social welfare Dean Stan Stojkovic consulted on the bill. He says a committee could study racial differences for current crimes.

“Arrest is the biggest point, so if there’s any change, any [thing] disparate or discriminatory — those are not the same terms! — what we’re finding is that it occurs largely at the point of arrest,” Stojkovic said.

Stojkovic says other key decision points are criminal charging, prosecution, conviction and sentencing.

Rev. Willie Briscoe heads Milwaukee Inner City Congregations Allied for Hope. He urges supporters of the impact statement bill to stay strong: “When you’re attacked for upsetting the apple cart or the status quo, let it be known that you are right where God wants you to be.”

A spokesperson for Republican Senate Majority leader Scott Fitzgerald says Fitzgerald hasn’t seen the bill. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn plan a news conference Thursday on preventing crime in Milwaukee.