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Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen Outlines Public Safety and Law Enforcement Concerns with the Proposed Budget



Van Hollen Participates with District Attorney Daniel Cary, Sheriff Dennis Pederson, Prosecutors, Local Law Enforcement and Wisconsin Victim Witness Professionals President Karen Rengert Calling on the Legislature to Make Public Safety Its First Priority


SPARTA - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen participated in a press conference in Sparta this morning hosted by Monroe County District Attorney Daniel Cary and Monroe County Sheriff Dennis Pedersen. Joining them in Sparta were La Crosse County District Attorney Tim Gruenke, Juneau County District Attorney Scott Harold Southworth, Wisconsin Victim Witness Professionals Board President Karen Rengert and other sheriffs, prosecutors and law enforcement officials.


"I believe the budget will negatively impact the safety of citizens in Wisconsin." Monroe County District Attorney Daniel Cary said in beginning his comments.

President of Wisconsin's Victim Witness Professionals Karen Rengert in reference to the proposed early release of prisoners in the Governor's proposed budget said, "These broken promises will impact victims of crime. Changing this and making it retroactive will only cause confusion for everyone - all citizens who believe they were being protected."


In his prepared remarks Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said, "Public safety is the first priority of any government. People expect to be safe in their homes, at their schools, and on their streets. Not only does law enforcement and public safety protect individual liberty, but without it, other government efforts cannot succeed."


Attorney General Van Hollen delivered a letter to Joint Finance Co-Chairs Senator Mark Miller and Representative Mark Pocan and other members of the Legislature in an effort to assist them as they work on the proposed budget. Read a copy of A.G. Van Hollen's letter to the Co-Chairs of the Joint Finance Committee.


The group, including the Attorney General, voiced concerns with specific proposals in the governor's budget including early release for convicted felons, a reduction in District Attorney's budgets and an across-the-board cut in shared revenues as the Doyle Budget grows government by nearly 8% in the first year of the biennium.


Read a copy of Attorney General Van Hollen's remarks from this morning's press conference.