A Wisconsin Department of Justice task force on Wednesday released draft legislation designed to protect senior citizens and vulnerable adults from exploitation, including bills that would define new crimes, create penalty enhancers and speed up court proceedings for elderly victims and witnesses.

The National Association of Attorneys General last year called on members to focus on elder abuse. Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel responded by forming a task force comprised of representatives from the state DOJ, the state Departments of Health Services and Financial Institutions and the Wisconsin Bankers Association, among other organizations. The group released its recommendations Wednesday, including draft proposals of four bills.

If passed, the legislation would require judges to expedite court hearings involving elderly victims and witnesses to minimize stress on them.

Securities professionals would be allowed to notify the DFI and protective service agencies of suspected financial exploitation of vulnerable and elderly adults and refuse or delay transactions when exploitation is suspected.

Legislators wrapped up their regular two-year session this spring but are expected to return for an extraordinary session a week after the Nov. 6 election to consider whether to offer tax incentives to paper products maker Kimberly-Clark.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald's office has said the session will focus exclusively on Kimberly-Clark, but Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said he would be open to considering other bills.

Read more in the La Crosse Tribune.