The Wisconsin state Senate has passed passed a juvenile corrections reform bill. The $80 million plan approved on Tuesday is essentially the same as a measure that unanimously passed the Assembly last month.
There was no debate before a Senate vote that was also unanimous, on a substitute amendment that would close the Lincoln Hills youth prison by January 1, 2021.
The troubled prison in northern Wisconsin would be replaced by Department of Corrections facilities for the most serious young offenders, and several county-run facilities for less serious offenders.
The Assembly is expected to meet on Thursday and concur in some minor changes.
Also on Tuesday, the Senate voted to approve a less costly version of Governor Scott Walker’s sales tax holiday. It would provide $11 to $12 million for a sales tax break on clothing and school supplies, much less than the $50 million the governor had wanted.
That costlier plan, along with a $100 per child tax credit that Walker had also wanted, passed the Assembly last month. That chamber would have to concur with the Senate version.
“Governor Walker thanks the Senate for passing juvenile justice reform and our $100 per child tax rebate and sales tax holiday with bipartisan support. These aren’t Republican or Democrat issues. These are Wisconsin issues,” a Walker spokeswoman said.