Assembly adopts ‘Windchill Law’Legislation designed to curb domestic violence by reducing abuse to animals was approved by the state assembly Thursday.
Legislation designed to curb domestic violence by reducing abuse to animals was approved by the state assembly Thursday.
Written by Rep. Nick Milroy, D-Superior, and coined “Windchill’s Law,” the bill was crafted with the help of local citizens involved in “The Windchill Legacy,” a grassroots organization formed to honor a colt that died because of negligence.
Two years ago, the 9-month-old colt was found malnourished, covered in ice and snow, and unable to stand. With no access to shelter and the wind chill range that day between 40 and 55 degrees below zero, the colt was near death. While great effort was made to save the colt, it died 20 days later. The couple boarding the colt was charged with animal negligence, but received a slap-on-the-wrist for the crime, Milroy said.
“Windchill’s Law increases penalties for crimes against animals, yet allows great leeway in sentencing for the courts and district attorneys,” said Milroy.
“Under the proposed law, a sentencing court may order counseling or treatment as part of the sentencing,” Milroy said in a prepared statement. “We need to focus on ending the cycle of abuse rather than just locking people up.”
Included in the bill is a provision to allow a judge to increase the sentence of the perpetrator by two years if the crime is committed in front of a child.
“Children who witness abuse often grow up to become abusers themselves,” Milroy said. “With AB 747, we are trying to ensure that our children don’t learn these violent behaviors.”
Windchill’s Law now goes to the state senate for consideration.