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Attorney general proposes pay raise for prosecutors (UPDATE)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel wants to give a raise to every prosecutor in the state in each of the next two years.

Schimel said he’s asked Gov. Scott Walker to use $4.8 million in revenue from a consumer protection lawsuit settled by the Department of Justice to pay prosecutors. Schimel said this proposal concentrates on recruiting and retaining prosecutors.

If Walker agrees, the raises would be included in the governor’s 2017-2019 state budget proposal and take effect in July 1, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

“We can fund pay progression for both years of the biennium for all of the prosecutors,” Schimel said.

Walker’s spokesman, Tom Evenson, declined comment, saying it would be premature to discuss the raises because the governor’s office was still drafting the next budget. The state budget proposal is expected to pass by the end of June, after revisions are made by lawmakers.

Schimel has also asked for about $16 million to add 113 prosecutor positions around the state. District attorneys have also asked for $7.9 million to fund pay raises for assistant district attorneys and deputy district attorneys.

In recent years, the total number of cases brought to local district attorneys’ offices has declined, while the number of available lawyers has increased.

However, Schimel and other law enforcement officials are in agreement that more staff is still needed because cases in recent decades have become more complicated and time-consuming. They say full-time staffing in district attorneys’ offices has not kept up with the workload.

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