State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.
The bill, if signed into law, will provide law enforcement guidelines to address the severity of strangulation and prosecute as a felony.
Under this bill, Senate Bill 260 (SB 260) anyone who intentionally impedes the normal breathing or blood circulation of another person by applying pressure on the throat or neck, or by blocking the nose or mouth, of the other person is guilty of a Class H felony. Violators could be fined up to $10,000, be imprisoned up to six years, or both.SB 260 expands the definition of a “dangerous weapon” to include a ligature or any other instrument used on the throat, neck, nose, or mouth of another person to impede, partially or completely, breathing or circulation of blood, and includes strangulation and suffocation in the definition of a “violent crime.”
The Executive Director of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Patti Seeger says in a news release, "All too often domestic abusers strangle their victims as they escalate the violence, but strangulation often leaves no visible injury and is not treated as the serious and dangerous crime that it truly is. This legislation will be a powerful tool for intervening in a potentially lethal form of domestic violence and prevent it from intensifying."
The Association of State Prosecutors, the Wisconsin Chapter of the International Association of Forensic Nurses, WCADV, the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault, the Wisconsin District Attorneys Association, the Wisconsin Sheriff's and Deputy Sheriffs Association, and the Wisconsin Victim/Witness Professionals have all publicly supported the Strangulation Prevention Enforcement Act. Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has also expressed his support for the bill.