The Wisconsin Hospital Association praised this morning’s action by the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety to strengthen a bill criminalizing the act of causing intentional bodily harm to health care workers. As originally introduced, 2019 Senate Bill 163 increased the penalty for harm to a nurse in a health care setting. Senate Amendment 1 to the bill – authored by Sen. André Jacque and strongly supported by WHA – wisely expands the bill to include all licensed health care professionals acting in their professional capacity.

“Maintaining Wisconsin’s status as a state providing top-quality health care is a constant priority,” said Eric Borgerding, WHA president and CEO. “Discouraging violent behavior helps to protect hospital staff who deliver this top-quality care to anyone who comes through a hospital’s doors. We’re pleased the Committee acted unanimously to include all of Wisconsin’s health care professionals in this important bill.”