State Sen. David Craig
Press Release

Senator David Craig Authors Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Legislation

This legislation shares many of the reforms sought at the federal level by Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner in the DUE PROCESS ACT OF 2016.

By - Jan 19th, 2017 05:05 pm

Madison, Wis. – Today, Senator David Craig (R-Town of Vernon) joined by Senator Nass (R – Whitewater), Senator Wirch (D – Kenosha), Representative Gary Tauchen (R-Bonduel), Representative Adam Jarchow (R – Balsom Lake), and Representative Frederick Kessler (D – Milwaukee) circulated for co-sponsorship legislation reforming civil asset forfeiture. Civil asset forfeiture is a process by which the government can permanently seize private property and use the proceeds from the sale of that property for various governmental purposes. In many instances, law enforcement will bring a suit against property suspected of being involved in or obtained via criminal activity – with no suspect ever charged or convicted.

In order to remedy this bad policy, this bill requires a criminal conviction in order for a forfeiture to occur, requires forfeitures to be proportional to the crime committed, sends all forfeiture proceeds to the State common school fund, raises the burden of proof in forfeiture cases, as well as other important reforms. Upon circulating the bill, Craig stated:

“Civil asset forfeiture reform is an important step to ensure that no person is, ‘deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law’ as guaranteed by the 5th Amendment. Criminal justice policy should focus on punishing the convicted, not raising revenue. Our bill accomplishes that.”

This legislation shares many of the reforms sought at the federal level by Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner in the DUE PROCESS ACT OF 2016. A copy of Senator Craig’s legislation and the co-sponsorship memo is attached.

Senator Craig represents the 28th Senate District which is comprised of portions of Waukesha, Walworth, Racine and Milwaukee Counties.

Recent Press Releases by State Sen. David Craig

Statement on Extension of “Shelter-in-place” to May 26th

Sen. Craig: “Evers and Palm have gone too far! The Senate must reject Palm now!”

Senator Craig Statement on Governor Evers’ Shelter-in-place Order

Madison, WI — Today, State Senator David Craig (R-Town of Vernon) released the following statement relating to Governor Tony Evers’ Shelter-in-Place Order: “A decision of such magnitude like a ‘shelter-in-place’ order, regardless of what the government calls it, should only be established through the surety and specificity of an act of the legislature because of its extreme effects on Wisconsin families and businesses. Such action could stem the tide of confusion and anxiety being experienced by employers and employees all across the state. “Further, Governor Evers needs to articulate the specific information he received which caused contradiction between his Friday statement ‘I believe that we’ll be able to avoid [a shelter-in-place order]’ and today’s statement that he will make such an order effective tomorrow. “Additionally, last week I requested the Governor and Attorney General provide details as to how the government’s actions abide by the constitutional strict scrutiny that is required. Their continued silence on these issues is unacceptable given the precipitously negative impacts on civil rights and the economy. “Because of the Governor’s extreme step, I believe the legislature should consider the following protections for Wisconsin citizens: Require legislative approval of any statewide “shelter-in-place” order for reasons of pandemic or infectious disease Require legislative passive review of any “Emergency Declaration” after 30 days, with affirmative approval needed for a state of emergency lasting longer than 60 days Require a written report detailing the satisfaction of strict scrutiny concerns be given to the legislature prior to a ban of gatherings of 50 or fewer is to be in effect Require an immediate report to the legislature of arrests for mass gathering violations “The constitution was not designed to be disregarded in a time of crisis, in fact, it was specifically designed to be most valuable and applicable during times of crisis when liberties are most at risk.”

Sen. Craig Responds to Gov. Evers’ State of the State Address

“Republican legislative majorities will continue to take a commonsense approach and govern responsibly by limiting government overreach while supporting a free-market economy, which is the very recipe that has led to one of the most prosperous decades in state history.” 

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