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State AG wants more funding for DNA database

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Brown County District Attorney John Zakowski, at podium, and Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announce an expansion of the state's election fraud task force, July 29, 2010. (courtesy of FOX 11)
Brown County District Attorney John Zakowski, at podium, and Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announce an expansion of the state's election fraud task force, July 29, 2010. (courtesy of FOX 11)

MADISON, Wis. (WSAU) - Wisconsin’s attorney general wants 10-million dollars from other state agencies – so police can take D-N-A samples from criminal suspects, and provide more services to victims of sexual assaults.

Attorney General J-B Van Hollen tells the Associated Press the money should go to his department anyway, since it comes from criminals who pay surcharges on their fines. Van Hollen’s Justice Department has asked Republican Governor Scott Walker to take three-point-seven million dollars from the Department of Public Instruction, which is now used for alcohol-and-drug-abuse programs – one-point-seven million that’s now used for gang diversion programs in the Office of Justice Assistance – and 253-thousand dollars from public defenders for training. Walker is being asked to re-allocate the money as part of his next two-year state budget which he’ll submit to the Legislature in February.

Back in April, Van Hollen and Walker promised to revive a controversial plan to make those arrested for certain felonies give their D-N-A to law enforcement for a state database. The database helps police solve past-and-future crimes. Right now, those convicted of felonies must provide D-N-A samples – but the A-C-L-U says it’s wrong to make those not convicted of crimes provide the D-N-A, saying it contains health information and a lot more personal data that fingerprints do not.

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