Wisconsin eliminated the use of commercial bail bondsmen in 1979 but they could be making a return to the state. As part of a state budget package, the legislature’s finance panel voted early this morning to create such a system in Waukesha, Milwaukee, Kenosha, Racine and Dane Counties.
Rep. Jon Richards (D-Milwaukee) is against the idea. “I can guarantee you, you never heard a sheriff or D.A. come say ‘let’s bring back the bail bondsmen,” said Richards while citing a letter in opposition from the Badger State Sheriff’s Association.
Opponents say these private recovery agents lack proper training. Richards said the pilot program could lead to a “wild west” type scenario. “I guess it’s the ‘wild west’ in 46 other states,” responded committee co-chair Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette), citing the vast majority of other states allow bail bond agencies.
Under the state budget, which still needs approval by the full legislature, the five-county program would eventually be implemented statewide.