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UPDATE: Wis. AG says DNA-at-arrest changes weaken plan

UPDATED Monday, June 24, 2013 --- 2:40 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen isn't pleased with the changes his fellow Republicans made to a state budget plan requiring police to take DNA from suspects upon arrest.

Gov. Scott Walker executive budget called for police to take DNA from anyone arrested for a felony or sex-related misdemeanor. The state currently takes DNA upon conviction for a felony or sex-related misdemeanor.

Walker and Van Hollen designed the proposal. Republicans on the Legislature's budget committee tweaked the plan during a late-night session earlier this month to prohibit police from forwarding the DNA to the state crime labs until a court determines probable cause for arrest exists.

Van Hollen told The Associated Press on Monday the changes will slow down investigations and create other holes in the system.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Monday, June 3, 2013 --- 11:40 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A Republican on the Legislature's finance committee says a U.S. Supreme Court decision that seizing DNA upon arrest is legal should soothe concerns about the practice in Wisconsin.

Gov. Scott Walker's executive budget calls for police to take DNA from anyone arrested for a felony. Critics pointed out that the U.S. Supreme Court has been wrestling with whether Maryland's DNA-upon-arrest law violates arrestees' privacy, but the finance committee still approved the plan last month.

The Supreme Court ruled in the Maryland case Monday that taking DNA from arrestees is akin to fingerprinting and constitutional. Sen. Sheila Harsdorf of River Falls, a finance committee member who championed Walker's plan, released a statement calling the ruling a victory for crime victims. She says Wisconsin should move forward with confidence.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Thursday May 23, 2013 -- 5:50 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Legislature's powerful finance committee is expected to review Gov. Scott Walker's plan to take DNA from anyone arrested for a felony and anyone convicted of any crime.

Right now Wisconsin collects DNA only from convicted felons and sex offenders. Walker's executive budget lays out nearly $6 million for the initiative. The money largely would come from an existing $250 surcharge on felony offenders and a new $200 surcharge on misdemeanor offenders.

Half of the states as well as the federal government seize DNA upon felony arrests. Civil rights advocates, though, still see Walker's plan as an invasion of privacy.

The Republican-controlled finance committee is scheduled to consider the proposal Thursday. The panel could approve it as written, modify it or delete it altogether.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED, Monday May 20, 2013 -- 5:32 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin lawmakers are set this week to consider Gov. Scott Walker's plan to take DNA from anyone arrested for a felony and anyone convicted of any crime.

Wisconsin currently collects DNA only from convicted felons and sex offenders. Walker's executive budget lays out nearly $6 million for the initiative. The money largely would come from an existing $250 surcharge on felony offenders and a new $200 surcharge on misdemeanor offenders.

Twenty-five other states and the federal government take DNA upon felony arrests. Civil rights advocates, though, still see Walker's plan as an invasion of privacy.

The Legislature's Joint Finance Committee is working to revise Walker's budget before forwarding it to the full Senate and Assembly. The panel is expected to review the DNA proposal Thursday.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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Posted Tuesday, February 12, 2013 --- 10:54 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Gov. Scott Walker wants to spend $3 million to expand GPS tracking for some people on restraining orders and $6 million to collect DNA samples from everyone arrested for felonies.

The expanded DNA collection Walker is proposing would also include anyone convicted for any crime and those arrested for certain misdemeanor sexual crimes. Walker says that will result in DNA data being collected from 68,000 people a year.

Walker was touring the state with Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen to discuss the $14 million in law enforcement initiatives that will be included in his budget to be released next week.

Walker is also calling for $1 million to hire five new full-time employees at the task force that works to stop Internet crimes against children.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


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