MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is telling legislators he needs a new solicitor general position in the state Justice Department to help defend Gov. Scott Walker’s policies.
Walker’s executive budget includes $960,500 for a solicitor general’s office. Both Walker and Van Hollen are Republicans.
Van Hollen justified the move to the Legislature’s finance committee Tuesday, saying the office could help DOJ litigate complicated cases.
Democrats on the panel questioned why Van Hollen can’t use the attorneys he already has. Van Hollen countered his lawyers are stretched thin and don’t have the expertise needed to deal with all the court challenges Walker’s policies have sparked. For example, he said it’s hard to find DOJ attorneys who aren’t in a union to handle challenges to Walker’s contentious collective bargaining changes.