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Bill would let AG file lawsuits over civil rights violations

Attorney General Josh Kaul was in Eau Claire Tuesday, talking about a lawsuit alleging one...
Attorney General Josh Kaul was in Eau Claire Tuesday, talking about a lawsuit alleging one company worsened the opioid epidemic.(WEAU)
Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 5:59 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Two Democratic lawmakers are introducing a bill that would allow Wisconsin’s attorney general to file lawsuits over civil rights violations.

Rep. Jimmy Anderson of Fitchburg and Sen. LaTonya Johnson of Milwaukee introduced the proposal Thursday.

The bill would give the attorney general the power to investigate civil rights violations and file lawsuits if someone has engaged in a pattern of violating civil rights in housing, employment or education matters.

“We must ensure that, for every Wisconsinite, our civil rights are more than simply rights on paper,” said Kaul.

The bill would create fines of up to $50,000 for an initial violation and up to $100,000 for each subsequent violation within seven years.

The bill faces an uphill battle in the Republican-controlled Legislature.

Attorneys general in states such as Arizona, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania already have a similar authority used to bring cases such as racial discrimination against employers, as well as racial discrimination against tenants.

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