By Senators Stroebel, Darling, Kooyenga, Schachtner, Wanggaard and Wirch; cosponsored by Representatives Ramthun, Brooks, Gundrum, Brandtjen, Born, Anderson, Billings, Brostoff, Doyle, Duchow, Edming, Felzkowski, Fields, Horlacher, Jagler, James, Katsma, Kitchens, Knodl, Kuglitsch, Kulp, Kurtz, Macco, Milroy, Murphy, Mursau, Neylon, Ohnstad, Oldenburg, Ott, Pronschinske, Quinn, Rohrkaste, Sanfelippo, Schraa, Sinicki, Skowronski, Snyder, Spiros, Summerfield, Tauchen, Tittl, Tranel, Tusler, Vruwink, Wichgers and Zimmerman.
hist105718To the committee on Transportation, Veterans and Military Affairs.
Report of Committees
The committee on Education reported and recommended:
Assembly Bill 53
Relating to: pupil records.
Ayes: 7 - Senators Olsen, Darling, Nass, Kooyenga, Bernier, Bewley and Schachtner.
Noes: 2 - Senators Larson and Johnson.
Assembly Bill 54
Relating to: fire, tornado, and school safety drills for public and private schools.
Ayes: 9 - Senators Olsen, Darling, Nass, Kooyenga, Bernier, Larson, Bewley, Johnson and Schachtner.
Noes: 0 - None.
Assembly Bill 67
Relating to: information on the school district and school accountability report.
Ayes: 8 - Senators Olsen, Darling, Nass, Kooyenga, Bernier, Larson, Bewley and Schachtner.
Noes: 1 - Senator Johnson.
Petitions and Communications
hist105678Pursuant to Senate Rule 17 (5), Representative Shankland added as a cosponsor of Senate Bill 142. hist105742Pursuant to Senate Rule 17 (5), Representatives Katsma and B. Meyers added as cosponsors of Senate Bill 266. hist105677Pursuant to Senate Rule 17 (5), Representative Shankland added as a cosponsor of Senate Bill 334. hist105740Pursuant to Senate Rule 17 (5), Senator Carpenter added as a coauthor of Senate Bill 344. hist105737Pursuant to Senate Rule 17 (5), Senator Larson added as a coauthor of Senate Bill 380. hist105724Pursuant to Senate Rule 17 (5), Representative Dittrich added as a cosponsor of Senate Bill 386. hist105765Pursuant to Senate Rule 17 (5), Senator Larson added as a coauthor of Senate Bill 390. hist105738Pursuant to Senate Rule 17 (5), Senator Olsen added as a coauthor of Senate Bill 433. hist105739Pursuant to Senate Rule 17 (5), Representative Dittrich added as a cosponsor of Senate Bill 433. hist105741Pursuant to Senate Rule 17 (5), Representatives Snyder and Sanfelippo added as cosponsors of Senate Joint Resolution 65.
State of Wisconsin
Wisconsin Ethics Commission
September 17, 2019
The Honorable, the Senate:
Pursuant to Wis. Stats. §13.685 (7), we are providing the enclosed information. Please visit the Wisconsin Ethics Commission’s Eye on Lobbying website, https://lobbying.wi.gov, for more detailed information about lobbyists, lobbying principals (organizations), and state agency liaisons.
Strohl, Joseph Happy Trails, Inc.
DANIEL A. CARLTON, JR.
State of Wisconsin
September 12, 2019
Enclosed is the report of the State Claims Board covering the claims heard on August 22, 2019. Those claims approved for payment pursuant to the provisions of s.16.007 and 775.05 Stats., have been paid directly by the Board.
This report is for the information of the Legislature, The Board would appreciate your acceptance and publication of it in the Journal to inform the members of the Legislature.
STATE OF WISCONSIN CLAIMS BOARD
The State of Wisconsin Claims Board conducted hearings at the State Capitol Building in Madison, Wisconsin, on August 22, 2019, upon the following claims:
Hearings were conducted for the following claims:
Claimant Agency Amount
1. Timothy Jahns Administration $2,799.26
2. Kip & Nancy Peters Transportation $8,320.23
The following claims were decided without hearings:
Claimant Agency Amount
3. Derrick Sanders Innocent Convict $5,754,965.00
4. Tracy B. Anderson Corrections $265.29
5. Deleon Harland Corrections $36.32
6. Mario A. Harris, Sr. Corrections $269.46
7. Ralph Jurjens, III Corrections $310.32
8. Phillip Keller Corrections $54.94
9. Anthony M. Lee Corrections $189.95
10. Davon Thompson Corrections $189.26
11. Larry Whittaker Corrections $156.98
12. Andrew Whitcomb Corrections $379.27
13. Deron D. Love Corrections $5,000.00
14. Charles Blunt, Sr. Corrections $656.58
15. Alonzo J. Gray Corrections $1,864.00
16. Robert L. Hamilton Corrections $194.12
With respect to the claims, the Board finds:
(Decisions are unanimous unless otherwise noted.)
1. Timothy Jahns of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin claims $2,799.26 for damage to his vehicle caused by a burst water pipe in the parking garage under the GEF II building. The claimant’s vehicle was parked in the garage on February 3, 2019, when an overhead waterpipe burst, causing several ceiling tiles and a lighting fixture to fall onto claimant’s vehicle. The vehicle suffered several dents and scratches on the front half of the car. Claimant does not have an assigned parking space in the garage but had been given permission from his bureau director to park there on weekends. Claimant has vehicle insurance with a $500 deductible but would prefer not to submit a claim to his insurance because he does not want his rates to go up. He requests reimbursement for the full estimated cost of repairing his vehicle.
The Department of Administration recommends denial of this claim. DOA states that a negligence claim requires a duty to conform to a certain standard of conduct to protect others against unreasonable risks. That standard of conduct is “ordinary care.” The day this incident took place, temperatures in the Madison averaged 40 degrees. This unseasonably warm day was preceded by the “polar vortex” (January 29 through February 1), with average temperatures well below 0 degrees. This extreme cold resulted in many frozen pipes throughout buildings in the area. DOA’s Bureau of Risk Management received over 80 separate reports of freeze damages at state-owned buildings in Madison that weekend. DOA points to the fact that its Division of Facilities Development and Management anticipated potential issues arising from the extreme temperatures and brought in extra staff that weekend to inspect DOA managed buildings, including the GEF II building. However, the pipe which cracked in this incident was covered in lagging, which precluded staff from discovering damage on visual inspection. When the damage was discovered, DOA staff took prompt action to fix it. DOA believes that this event was caused by extreme temperatures and that there was nothing the department could have reasonably done to prevent the damage to claimant’s vehicle. DOA believes the damage to claimant’s vehicle was unfortunate but that the department met the “ordinary care” standard and that this claim should be denied. Finally, DOA notes that claimant has vehicle insurance with a $500 deductible. DOA believes claimant’s concern regarding increased insurance rates is misplaced because, as a general matter, insurance premiums are only impacted when an insured is at fault. DOA therefore also recommends that if the Claims Board chooses to make an award to this claimant, the amount should be limited to his $500 deductible.
_Hlk18573071 The Board concludes the claim should be paid in the reduced amount of $500.00 based on equitable principles. The Board further concludes, under authority of Wis. Stat. § 16.007(6m), payment should be made from the Department of Corrections appropriation Wis. Stat. §20.505(5)(ka). [Member Kasper not participating.]
2. Kip Peters of Roberts, Wisconsin, claims $8,320.23 for property damage caused by flooding of a ditch along Hwy. 65 in Roberts, Wisconsin. Claimant states that flooding of the drainage ditch has been a problem since he purchased the home in 2016. When the ditch backs up, the water spills over into his yard and in March 2019, flooded the lower level of his home. Claimant contacted St. Croix County and the Department of Transportation in 2017 and the county re-dug the ditch. Claimant notes that the water is supposed to flow north along the ditch to a drainage pond but believes the grade of the ditch is insufficient to keep the water flowing. He also notes that the Hwy. 65 culvert is a 30” concrete culvert but the culvert to the north is a 26” steel culvert. He believes this culvert is too small to accept the drainage from the larger culvert. Claimant requests reimbursement for the flood damage to his home and also asks that the drainage ditch be fixed so this doesn’t happen again.
DOT recommends denial of this claim. DOT records indicate that claimant’s house was built 15 years ago in a natural drainage-way. This drainage-way flows east to west from an agricultural field towards STH 65 and under the highway through a culvert pipe towards claimant’s home. It then moves northwesterly through claimant’s lot towards a drainage pond. DOT notes that this drainage pattern existed well before claimant’s house was built. Pursuant to drainage law, DOT is obligated to pass the water under the highway to continue on its natural course, which is what occurs in this case. Several years ago, claimant contacted DOT and the department had the county clean out the ditch and add a small earthen berm to reduce the water flowing onto claimant’s property. This was done as a good neighbor gesture. DOT will continue to conduct routine maintenance of the culvert pipe and drainage ditch but is not responsible for the flow of water into the drainage-way, which existed long before claimant’s house was built.
The Board concludes there has been an insufficient showing of negligence on the part of the state, its officers, agents or employees and this claim is neither one for which the state is legally liable nor one which the state should assume and pay based on equitable principles. The Board further encourages DOT to continue to discuss this issue with claimant in hopes of finding a resolution.
3. Derrick Sanders of Gary, Indiana, claims $5,754,965.00 for Innocent Convict Compensation pursuant to Wis. Stat., § 775.05. In October 1993, claimant was convicted of first-degree intentional homicide, party to a crime. Jason Bowie was shot and killed in an abandoned building in November 1992. Claimant and two other individuals, Anthony Boddie and John Peavy, were charged in the incident. Bowie was severely beaten at two different houses before being taken down an alley to a boarded-up house where he was murdered. Boddie, Peavy, and claimant were involved in the beating. At some point, Boddie and Peavy took Bowie to the boarded-up house and Boddie shot him in the head. Boddie pled guilty to first-degree intentional homicide and Peavy pled guilty to an amended charge of first-degree intentional homicide, party to a crime. Claimant entered a no-contest plea to first-degree intentional homicide, party to a crime.
Claimant states that he always maintained that he was not involved in or aware of the shooting. He states that he had ineffective legal counsel, who did not explain to him the meaning of “party to a crime.” The Court of Appeals vacated claimant’s plea in 1995, finding that he did not knowingly and intelligently enter the plea because he did not fully understand the potential for punishment if convicted. The case was remanded for further proceedings. In 1996, claimant’s new counsel had him re-enter the same no contest plea with the same sentence he received at his original sentencing. In August 2018, the Circuit Court vacated claimant’s plea, concluding that “the State has failed to demonstrate that a factual basis existed for the defendant’s plea or by clear and convincing evidence that he entered his plea knowingly, voluntarily and intelligently, with an understanding of the nature of party to a crime, and more to the point, how his conduct satisfied the elements of PTAC liability.” The court stated, “It would be manifestly unjust if the defendant were to remain convicted of first-degree intentional homicide, party to a crime, and therefore, he must be allowed to withdraw his plea.”
In September 2018, a Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney stated in court that he had requested police officers re-interview Boddie in August 2018, and that Boddie had attested in that interview that while he, Peavy, and claimant were all involved in the beating of Bowie, that Boddie alone took Bowie to the basement of the abandoned house and shot him. The DA’s Office moved to dismiss the charges against claimant.