Lawmakers disagree over addressing carjacking, reckless driving issues

NOW: Lawmakers disagree over addressing carjacking, reckless driving issues

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) – As Republicans push forward a ‘tougher on crime’ package of bills, some democrats say those proposals may not help the issue they’re trying to address.

Republican lawmakers held a news conference at the State Capitol Thursday ahead of public hearings for some of those bills.

They include bills to establish grants for eligible communities to get additional funds to handle auto theft and other crimes.

Another would increase penalties for carjacking and reckless driving – including a 30-day minimum for car theft. But democrats, like Rep. David Crowley (D – Milwaukee) believe those proposals can do more harm than good.

“We need to catch those bad actors,” Crowley told CBS 58. “The only way to do that is to give our law enforcement the tool and the resources to do that. We can’t say that we need to eliminate a judge’s discretion when it comes to convicting a child or an adult.”

The Milwaukee representative has proposed a bill that would allow the City of Milwaukee to have a pilot program for red light cameras. However that bill has not moved forward under the GOP-controlled legislature.

But republicans expressed skepticism of such a program when asked about it during today’s news conference.

“When you look at these contracts, in these red light cameras, they really ratchet it down so that it’s unfair and it puts the drivers in unfair advantages,” Rep. Joe Sanfelippo (R – New Berlin). “They’re not always the panacea that they seem to be.”

Crowley told CBS 58 that he was not approached about the new bills.

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