Governor Scott Walker has signed several bills from a De Pere lawmaker that target sex crimes and underage drinking.
State Representative Andre Jacque (R-De Pere) is the sponsor of eight pieces of legislation signed by the governor on Friday. One makes it a crime to solicit sexually-explicit images of minors, fixing what he says were problems with previous law on the issue. “If those images were actually sent, then a crime would be committed, then you can stop that person. But until you find somebody who is vulnerable, who actually has already sent the images, you don’t have any recourse.”
Jacque says this bill is especially important because it is Milwaukee, not Chicago or Minneapolis, that is the sex trafficking hub of the Midwest. “Milwaukee’s problems have migrated up to the Fox Valley. Traffickers have gotten a foothold in Northeast Wisconsin.”
Jacque notes the crime is punishable by up to nine months in jail.
Two other bills increase the penalty for engaging in prostitution with a child and making third offense prostitution and human trafficking crimes felonies.
Another bill deals with providing alcohol to minors. Jacque says the “social hosting” legislation addresses those who host underage drinking parties for minors at their homes – events he argues can result in a number of problems. “Alcohol poisoning, drunk driving, when you look at the earlier onset of unsafe drinking behavior that happens with these social hosting parties, it’s very important that we get on top of it now.”
He notes it’s especially important for some cities, including one that is close to home. “Green Bay being one of the few metro areas in the entire country where you have over half the traffic fatalities having alcohol as a significant contributing factor.”
Jacque says the legislation was needed after an appeals court stripped away local ordinances that deal with underage drinking parties.
Violators face a $500 fine, with penalties increasing for repeat offenders.
In total, Walker signed eight bills that Jacque authored during stop Friday in Mount Pleasant.