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Assembly passes bill to create Task Force on missing and murdered African American girls and women

The task force bill still needs to clear the Senate and the governor's desk.
Posted at 10:56 AM, Feb 23, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-23 11:57:37-05

MADISON — The Assembly passed a bill to create a task force focused on missing and murdered African American girls and women in Wisconsin.

Nationwide, Black girls and women make up 15 percent of the female population, but 34 percent of those reported missing in 2020, according to The Gender Policy Report from the University of Minnesota.

Democratic State Representative Shelia Stubbs from Madison was emotional on the assembly floor as she made a case for lawmakers to support the measure.

Stubbs is behind the bill and says it has taken her two years to get it to this point.

"This bill is personal for me. It’s a passion for me," State Rep. Stubbs explained. "For me, I don’t want to see a stat and not do something about it. I wanted to begin to address it."

Additionally, The Gender Policy Report found that nationally cases involving Black girls and women stay open four times longer than other cases on average. The thousands of Black women and girls missing include abductees, sex trafficking victims, and people escaping abuse.

The bipartisan task force would examine factors that contribute to the disproportionate violence, develop recommendations to address issues, and compile a report for the legislature by the end of 2024.

Georgia Hill supports the bill and has lent her voice to help other families. Her daughter, Lasheky Hill, was last seen in the 1000 block of Martin Luther King Drive in Racine on March 26, 2023. Police reported unusual circumstances and concerns around the situation.

Nearly a year later, RPD says the case is still active but there are no updates.

"If I didn't have God in my life, I don't know where I'd be. It's very devastating for a mother, a parent to go through this," Hill said. "I don't want other parents going through what I'm going through now."

Standing alongside one of Lasheky's grandkids, Hill is motivated to keep fighting for her family and others.

"I'm going to keep on fighting, speaking, and whatever else I may do to help find my child. I'm not giving up," Hill stated.

The task force bill still needs to clear the Senate and the governor's desk.