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Committee scales back DOJ analyst positions in budget

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Legislature’s budget-writing committee has voted to scale back the number of new crime-lab analysts Gov. Tony Evers wanted to give the state Department of Justice in the state budget.

Evers’ state budget would supply $1.6 million over the next two years to pay for 14 additional positions at the crime labs, including 5 DNA analysts, three crime scene examiners, three toxicologists, two firearm analysts and one evidence examiner.

The Republicans who control the committee voted on Thursday to spend $722,400 to pay for 7.4 new positions, including 2.6 DNA analysts, 1.6 toxicologists, a firearms analyst and an evidence examiner.

They also cut $2.5 million for DOJ’s Legal Services Division, which handles consumer and environmental-protection cases, and dropped Evers’ proposal to add three digital-forensic analysts to help local police departments.

The committee passed the changes on a 12-4 vote; all four Democrats on the committee voted against the proposals.

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