Bipartisan group of Assemblymembers draft bill rasing damaging historical property to felony charge.

A team of a Democratic and Republican lawmakers authored the bill in response to recent destructive protests. Photo: Carla Christenson

Author: Sam Buisman

A bipartisan pair of Wisconsin lawmakers prepare a bill that would make damaging historical property in Wisconsin a felony.

According to Channel3000, if passed, the bill would classify any damage or vandalization of a historical or commemorative statue, monument, plaque or other structure as a felony, punishable by a three-and-a-half-year prison sentence, a $10,000 fine, or both. The bill was authored by Republican Assemblyman Rob Hutton and Democratic Assemblyman Tim Carpenter as a response to last Wednesday night’s protests during which demonstrators tore down the Lady Forward and Hans Christian Heg statues near the Capitol.

Carpenter was also assaulted by a group of protestors on the same evening and finished his medical treatment for his injuries on Tuesday.

Local activists have charged the state with misdirecting their outrage. Urban Triage Communications Director April Kigeya was quoted last week in WKOW saying “I would urge people to show the same outrage and disapproval when Black and brown bodies are shot & killed, as when property such as statues are taken down.”

According to Channel3000, this bill is still in its draft stages and may change before it is introduced to the Wisconsin Legislature.

WSUM will continue to follow this story and issue updates as they emerge.