Less than one year after the Wausau Metro Strong group began working with lawmakers to craft a bill that would increase penalties for those who threaten anyone involved in a family law situation, Governor Scott Walker has signed Sara’s Law.
“Obviously I’m very pleased,” said Scott Williams Sann, the husband of Sara Quirt Sann who was killed by the former husband of one of her clients in March of 2018. “Going through the channels, timing, things just worked out well. I’m very blessed and thankful for that.”
Sann says it’s a big step towards protecting those that are sometimes most vulnerable in the legal system, but he thinks that there is more he can do to prevent tragedy like this from striking another family. “We still have to do some work in providing information and giving attorneys a route to navigate and use this when they need it so that it works for them. Once that’s done, who knows, maybe we will open another chapter.”
Governor Scott Walker says he knows first-hand that family law matters have a tendency to get out of hand because of the tensions that go with them, saying he has never once walked through a metal detector to get to his office at the Capitol in Madison, however when he was in county government it was a regular occurrence. “That’s often in our society where the most intense debates and discussions emerge. That’s why courtrooms have made security adjustments. This is one more tool to make sure that folks in the legal community like Sara that are working on issues to protect children and families are protected themselves.“ Before signing the bill in the Sara Quirt Sann Memorial Courtroom, Walker revealed that the measure is a first of its kind law nationwide. He says officials from California have shown interest in implementing a similar measure in their state.
ON RYAN’S FUTURE
Following Wednesday’s signing the Governor was asked several questions regarding Wisconsin’s first House district representative Paul Ryan’s announcement that he will not run for re-election to Wisconsin’s first House district this fall. “I just know with Paul having three teenage kids, daughters in particular, that are about the same age as he was when his father passed away. It’s just so critically important for him as a father and a parent [to be there more often].”
Walker noted that when Ryan was recruited to become Speaker his workload increased from when he was just another member of Congress. “Again, as someone who lost his father at about the same age that his kids are right now, he just thought it was important to be a dad they saw frequently and not just someone they saw on the weekends.”
Walker talked down any fears that Ryan could have been in danger of losing his seat this November, or of not being elected Speaker even if he was sent back to Washington. “It’s just as simple as it’s been weighing on him. Remember years ago when his predecessor (John Boehner) after he welcomed the Pope in said it was just a moment where it strikes you. I think it was similar in terms of the interactions with some of his kids back in Janesville, it was clear that was more important than anything else.”
As for the future of the seat in November, there are two declared candidates in each party- Democrats Randy “Iron Stache” Bryce and Cathy Meyers, and Republicans Nick Polce and Paul Nehlen.
Walker says it’s too early to pick a favorite among those four. “It’s wide open; I haven’t talked to anyone about it. It’s a competitive seat, and it will depend on the quality of the candidates. I would image there’s a lot of state lawmakers or popular local officials who could run, [I’m sure] there’s been a lot of people waiting to see what Ryan would do next in the last few years and I would imagine many of them will emerge.”