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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

 5:21 PM 

About 40 minutes left for debate

Time is winding down for debate on the John Doe bill.

Dems continue to argue against the legislation, saying Republicans need a fair bill, rather than one that removes politicians from John Doe probes.

"If you do away with some, it should go away for all," Rep. Dana Wachs, D-Eau Claire, said, adding if state law shifts more toward grand juries, the state should pay for them because small communities won't be able to afford them.

Republicans, though, have repeatedly argued the bill is blind to occupations and focused solely on the types of crimes. The bill would allow John Doe probes for Class A through Class D felonies and other selected crimes.

The John Doe changes are designed to offer equal protection to witnesses and subjects, Republicans said. And the Legislature's job is to protect citizens from "abusive prosecutors," Rep. Jim Steineke, R-Kaukauna, said.

The subjects of those probes, he said, are supposed to be considered innocent.

"The current system treats them as anything but," Steineke said.



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