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Lawmakers To Consider Additional Funding For State Crime Labs

Budget Committee Scheduled To Vote On Justice Department Funding

Wisconsin state Capitol
DMichael Burns (CC-BY)

The Legislature’s budget-writing committee gets back to work Tuesday, with plans to vote on increased funding for DNA testing at state crime labs and a variety of other measures.

Gov. Scott Walker proposed an additional $2 million over the next two years for DNA testing kits.

According to the state Department of Justice, that extra money will help Wisconsin meet a growing demand for the kits. People who have been arrested for certain violent felonies, including sexual assault, must submit a biological sample for testing. The number of samples submitted to the state has increased about 20 percent over the last two years, according to the DOJ.

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Lawmakers will also discuss a handful of other agencies, including the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and the Department of Military Affairs.

Those agencies’ proposed budgets include $500,000 per year for high-tech fabrication lab materials at public schools and $500,000 in funding in 2017-18 for local law enforcement training on crowd control.

Other budget highlights up for votes Tuesday include:

  • $2 million annually to support grants under the treatment and diversion program, which includes deferred prosecution and restorative justice programs for alcohol and drug offenders.
  • $150,000 annually to support grants under the drug court grant program.
  • $1 million annually to support grants to cities to reimburse overtime costs for uniformed law enforcement officers whose primary duty is beat patrol.
  • $750,000 on a one-time basis to support law enforcement activities related to internet crimes against children.
  • $500,000 annually to support overtime, fleet costs, training and other supplies and services for state Division of Criminal Investigation activities related to drug law enforcement.