LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW)—Governor Scott Walker pledged $14 million in the next budget for public safety initiatives.
Governor Walker outlined the plan for that money at a stop in La Crosse Tuesday. The governor, joined by Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, says the funds will help support assault victims and crime prevention. One million will go toward the state's Internet Crime Against Children Task Force. Another $4 million will fund services for sexual assault victims and $3 million will fund a grant program that counties can use to put those who violate restraining orders on GPS monitoring.
"Last year, I signed in to law a bill change that made it possible for courts, once someone violated their restraining order, a certain number of terms on the restraining order, to go out and require that individual to be on GPS monitoring," Walker said. "The change that we include in this budget goes a step further and at the time of granting the restraining order, allows them to put them on tracking if there's evidence of a serious threat to that individual."
Another $6 million will go in to a DNA at arrest program, which would require that anyone arrested on felony charges will have a DNA swab taken. Additionally, those arrested on some misdemeanor sexual charges will also be required to have a DNA swab. Attorney General Van Hollen says it will increase the DNA database in Wisconsin from about 12,000 samples to 68,000 samples.
Walker also says he will transfer many of the duties of the Office of Justice Assistance, which is overseen by the governor, to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, which is managed by the Attorney General. He said this will help save money and increase access to victim services.
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