Gov. Tony Evers on March 23 signed into law Assembly Bill 960, which was led by Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester), Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg), Rep. Gae Magnafici (R-Dresser) and Sen. Van Wanggaard (R-Racine), making threats of violence towards a health care worker a Class H felony. The effective date of the new law, 2021 Act 209
, is March 25, 2022.
“Health care workers are better protected under this new law,” said WHA President and CEO Eric Borgerding. “WHA’s members across the state express appreciation to Speaker Vos and Senate Majority Leader LeMahieu for authoring this important law and making passage of Assembly Bill 960 a priority at the end of session.”
“WHA is also grateful to Gov. Evers for signing Assembly Bill 960 into law, showing health care workers that they are vital to our state and important to protect,” continued Borgerding.
WHA recently published the 2022 edition of its annual workforce report
, which reveals that 13 out of the 17 positions surveyed had higher hospital vacancy rates in 2021 than in 2020. WHA’s report noted that seven of these positions had vacancy rates exceeding 10%.
“Threats against health care workers cause hospital staff to choose between caring for patients in the hospital or leaving the hospital altogether,” said Borgerding. “With significant workforce challenges in Wisconsin hospitals, we cannot afford to lose providers because they fear threats in the workplace. This new law will send a strong message to the public that threats against health care workers are taken seriously and not tolerated in Wisconsin.”