Ballweg Domestic Violence Bill Passed By Assembly
The State Assembly recently passed a bill that expands the TraJa Act. The original act introduced a domestic abuse surcharge to make the third domestic violence offense a felony. It is named in honor of Tracy Judd and her 2-month-old daughter, Deja Renee, and Amber Weigel and her 2-year-old daughter Neveah who were murdered by Tyrone Adair in 2009 during an act of domestic violence. Judd was originally from Berlin. State Representative Joan Ballweg introduced the bill in honor of the TraJA Organization, which was started by Judd’s best friend Heather Lawler and Judd’s sister Lisa Blanchard. Ballweg says, “Heather actually has gone to some of our prisons and interviewed perpetrators of domestic violence and that is where she got the idea for the bill because she was told by these folks that yes they did in fact move to get a clean slate to start over.” Under the new bill if you move to Wisconsin from another state where you committed acts of domestic violence those crimes would be considered as strikes against you if you committed another act of domestic violence. Ballweg says they made sure they were on the same page with laws from other states. She says, “We did want to make sure the laws were similar and that is something the courts would have to be assured of. We’ve given them that capability.”
In the photo (L-R): Representative Ballweg, Lisa Blanchard, Heather Lawler, State Senator Luther Olsen.