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Bill offers new protections for state lawmakers, families

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MADISON (WSAU)   Penalties are being ramped up for individuals who hit, shove or kick a Wisconsin lawmaker or his or her family members. State Representative Garey Bies is the sponsor. The Republican from Sister Bay says harassment of lawmakers has long been an issue, but it has become worse since the law ending collective bargaining for most state workers was signed into effect two years ago.

Bies says he supports freedom of speech, but he says there’s a line people shouldn’t cross. Republican state Representative Samantha Kerkman and Democratic state Senator Lena Taylor are co-sponsors.

More than two dozen states have similar laws on the books.

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