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Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen to Testify Today Before Joint Finance Committee on Department of Justice Budget Recommendations

 

Attorney General Van Hollen is expected to testify before members today.

 

MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen will go today before members of Wisconsin’s Joint Finance Committee to address questions related to the Governor’s 2013-2015 budget recommendations for the Department of Justice.  The committee will meet today at the State Capitol in Room 412 East beginning at 10:00 am. A copy of the Attorney General’s prepared remarks is available here.

 

“I’m encouraged by Governor Walker’s budget recommendations for the Department of Justice, and I’m hopeful that under this proposal we’ll be able to further government’s top priority – public safety,” Attorney General Van Hollen said.  “This budget is historic in its efforts to assist crime victims, protect children, and identify criminal suspects earlier through DNA collection at arrest.”

 

Specific portions of the budget likely to be addressed by Van Hollen include the following:

 

  • Authorization to collect DNA at the time of arrest for all felony and certain misdemeanor offenses, along with DNA collection for all misdemeanor convictions. 
  • Increased resources to combat the commercial sexual exploitation of children by adding positions to the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.
  • Direct state funding for the Sexual Assault Victim Services (SAVS) grant program to replace previous surcharge-based revenue for grants to agencies that support victims of sexual assault.
  • Establishment of a GPS tracking system, to be administered through a DOJ grant program, to protect victims of domestic violence after a petition for a restraining order or injunction, by authorizing judges to place a respondent who meets certain criteria on GPS tracking.   
  • Increased funding and positions for the Wisconsin Statewide Information Center (WSIC) to replace decreased federal funding and increase the center's ability to detect, prevent, investigate and respond to criminal and terrorist activity.  The WSIC is Wisconsin’s primary intelligence fusion center, serving as a focal point for information sharing with federal, state and local law enforcement. 
  • Eliminating the Office of Justice Assistance and moving grant administration responsibilities, Wisconsin Justice Information Sharing and crime reporting to the Departments of Justice and Military Affairs in order to create efficiencies and maximize the use of federal dollars for programmatic purposes.  Programs going to DOJ include:

 

  • Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Funds
  • Byrne/ Justice Assistance Grants (JAG)
  • Treatment Alternative Diversion program
  • WISCOM/Interoperability
  • WI Justice Information Sharing

 

Additional information on Governor Walker’s budget proposal relating to the Department of Justice is available at the following link:  http://www.doa.state.wi.us/