Wis. bill to add penalties for harassing lawmakers - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Wis. bill to add penalties for harassing lawmakers

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A Wisconsin lawmaker is pushing for tougher laws to deter people who would intimidate or harm members of the Legislature and their families.

Under the legislation introduced by Rep. Garey Bies, a Republican from Sister Bay, acts such as striking, shoving, or kicking a lawmaker or a family member with no legitimate reason would face harsher penalties.

Harming a public official is already illegal in Wisconsin. Bies' proposal would cover a broader span of acts considered threats.

Lawmakers who have been victimized support the proposal. Some civil rights groups say it's redundant and could eventually infringe on freedom of speech.

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