Budget committee adds money for overtime for beat patrol officers, DNA testing
By Molly Beck, La Crosse Tribune
Lawmakers writing the next state spending plan put more money toward paying overtime for beat patrol officers and toward analyzing DNA evidence of convicted and suspected criminals.
The action Tuesday by the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee, which is writing the 2017-19 state budget, approved a number of proposals made by Gov. Scott Walker related to the Department of Justice’s spending plan. This includes the $2 million Walker proposed to send to the state’s grant program to give local governments more money to spend on overtime for beat patrol officers in the state’s largest cities.
Lawmakers on the budget committee also approved the governor’s proposal to add $2 million in funding to test DNA evidence related to convicted or suspected criminals.
Republicans on the committee rejected a proposal made by Democrats to spend at least $2 million over the next two years to contract with another laboratory to speed up the time it takes to test sexual assault evidence kits with a goal of testing 200 more kits per month than the department currently completes.