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WI State Sen. David Craig: Reining in Policing for Profit

June 15, 2017

Civil asset forfeiture reform is on the move in Wisconsin, according to state Sen. David Craig (R-Town of Vernon).

In this episode of the weekly Budget & Tax News podcast, Heartland Institute research fellow and managing editor Jesse Hathaway talks with Wisconsin state Sen. David Craig (R-Town of Vernon) about why civil asset forfeiture reform is needed in the Badger State.

Wisconsin legislators are considering a bill, sponsored by Craig, tightening state regulations governing the ability of law enforcement officials to forfeit private property from suspected criminals. Craig’s bill, Senate Bill 61, removes the “policing for profit” motive inherent in the current law, by requiring all asset forfeiture proceeds go to Wisconsin schools instead of local law enforcement agencies, he says.

Craig says his bill also closes a loophole, allowing  prosecutors to bypass more stringent state asset forfeiture laws by passing cases off to the federal government, through the U.S. Department of Justice’s Equitable Sharing program. The bill requires referring seized property to be referred to the appropriate state prosecuting attorney, instead of allowing property to be laundered back to the local level through the federal government.

Jesse Hathaway is a policy advisor for budget and tax issues at The Heartland Institute. @JesseinOH