2021 - 2022 LEGISLATURE
March 7, 2022 - Introduced by Representatives Sortwell and Steffen. Referred
to Committee on Judiciary.
1An Act to renumber
949.05; to renumber and amend
949.01 (6); to amend
949.035 (1), 949.04 (3), 949.06 (1) (intro.), 949.06 (3) (intro.), 949.08 (1), (1m) (a) 3
and (2) (a) and (b) and 949.15 (1); and to create
949.01 (6) (b), 949.03 (2), 949.05 4
(2m) and 949.06 (3m) of the statutes;
relating to: providing victim
5compensation for damage to building from arson.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill adds damage to a building as a result of arson to the types of injury that
may be compensated under the victim compensation program.
Under current law, the Department of Justice administers a program that
compensates victims and their relatives for economic loss due to personal injury or
death that results from the commission of a crime. Allowable expenses include loss
of income, medical treatments, and replacement value for property held for evidence,
and certain other types of expenses that are not paid by insurance or paid for by the
perpetrator of the crime. Under current law, a person may not receive an award
under the victim compensation program unless the victim suffered personal injury
or death as a result of the crime, and the allowable expenses to be paid do not
generally include property damage as a result of the crime. Current law limits the
amount to be paid for each personal injury or death to $40,000.
Under the bill, if a building is damaged by arson, the owner of the building may
receive compensation from the victim compensation program. The amount of the
award is equal to the difference between the amount paid by insurance and the cost
of necessary repairs or the fair market value of the building, whichever is less. The
bill maintains the $40,000 cap on an award from the victim compensation program
for damage to a building.
For further information see the state fiscal estimate, which will be printed as
an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
949.01 (6) of the statutes is renumbered 949.01 (6) (intro.) and 2
amended to read:
" except as provided under s. 949.165,
means a one
4of the following:
person who is injured or killed by an incident specified in s. 949.03 (1) (a), 6
or by any act or omission of any other person that is within the description of any of 7
the offenses listed in s. 949.03 (1) (b) or within the description of the offense listed 8
and the condition provided in s. 949.03 (1) (c). This definition does not apply to s.
949.01 (6) (b) of the statutes is created to read:
(b) A person who owns a building that was damaged or destroyed by 12
arson under s. 943.02.
949.03 (2) of the statutes is created to read:
The department may order the payment of an award for damage to 15
a building which results from arson under s. 943.02.
949.035 (1) of the statutes is amended to read:
If a Wisconsin resident suffers injury or death in a situation 18
described in s. 949.03 (1)
except that the act occurred outside this state, the resident 19
has the same rights under this subchapter as if the act had occurred in this state
upon a showing that the state, territory, country or political subdivision of a country 2
in which the act occurred does not have a compensation of victims of crimes law which 3
covers the injury or death suffered by the person.
949.04 (3) of the statutes is amended to read:
949.04 (3) Medical and dental records. The For an application for an award
6payment under s. 949.03 (1), the
applicant shall submit to the department reports 7
from all physicians, osteopaths, dentists, optometrists, chiropractors or podiatrists 8
who treated or examined the victim at the time of or subsequent to the victim's injury 9
or death. The department may also order such other examinations and reports of the 10
victim's previous medical and dental history, injury or death as it believes would be 11
of material aid in its determination.
949.05 of the statutes is renumbered 949.05 (1m).
949.05 (2m) of the statutes is created to read:
In any case in which a building is damaged or destroyed by arson 15
under s. 943.02, the department may order the payment of an award to the owner 16
of the building. If 2 or more people have ownership interest in the building, the 17
department shall apportion the award among the people.
949.06 (1) (intro.) of the statutes is amended to read:
(intro.) In accordance with this subchapter, the department shall 20
make awards, as appropriate, for any of the following economic losses incurred as a 21
direct result of an injury under s. 949.03 (1)
949.06 (3) (intro.) of the statutes is amended to read:
(intro.) Any award made under this section shall be reduced by the 24
amount of any payment received, or to be received, as a result of the injury or,
25or property damage
949.06 (3m) of the statutes is created to read:
For damage to a building under s. 949.03 (2), the department may 3
make awards for the difference between the amount paid by insurance for the 4
incident, if any, and the amount of necessary repairs or the fair market value of the 5
building, whichever is less, as proven by the victim.
949.08 (1), (1m) (a) and (2) (a) and (b) of the statutes are amended 7
949.08 (1) No order for the payment of an award may be made unless the
9application was made within 1 year after the date of the personal injury or, death,
10property damage, and the personal injury or, death, or property damage was the result
11of an incident or offense which had been reported to the police within 5 days of its
12occurrence or, if the incident or offense could not reasonably have been reported within
13such period, within 5 days of the time when a report could reasonably have been made.
14The department may waive the requirements under this subsection in the interest of
(a) Except as provided in par. (b), the department may not make an award 17
of more than $40,000 for any one injury or,
death, or damaged property
and the 18
department may not make any award for expenses incurred after 4 years from the 19
date of the injury or,
death, or property damage
(a) Engaged in conduct which substantially contributed to the infliction
21of the victim's injury or, death, or property damage or in which the victim could
22have reasonably foreseen could lead to the injury or
, death, or property damage.
23This does not apply to awards to victims under s. 949.03 (1) (a).
(b) Committed a crime which caused or contributed to the victim's injury or,
25death, or property damage
949.15 (1) of the statutes is amended to read:
Whenever the department orders the payment of an award under 3
this subchapter as a result of the occurrence of an event that creates a cause of action 4
on the part of a claimant against any person, the department is subrogated to the 5
rights of the claimant and may bring an action against the person for the amount of 6
the damages sustained by the claimant. If an amount greater than that paid under 7
the award order is recovered and collected in any such action, the department shall 8
pay the balance to the claimant. If the person responsible for the injury or, death
9or property damage
has previously made restitution payments to the general fund 10
under s. 973.20, any judgment obtained by the department under this section shall 11
be reduced by the amount of the restitution payments to the general fund.