Attorney General Brad Schimel submitted the Department of Justice (DOJ) 2017-19 budget request to Governor Walker on September 15, 2016. Including all funding sources, DOJ’s request is a 6.2 percent increase over the base fiscal year (2016-17) doubled. This increase amounts to $6.6 million in new general purpose revenue (GPR) over the biennium.
The largest cost drivers for the additional funding request are due to legislation that passed in the 2015-2016 session. 2015 Wisconsin Act 388 provided a funding increase to county grants for the Treatment Alternative and Diversion (TAD) program. The TAD program provides options for offenders for voluntary substance abuse treatment, case management, and other services, instead of incarceration. DOJ’s budget request includes $2 million in each year of the biennium to expand the TAD program.
DOJ’s budget request includes $1.5 million over the biennium for the cost-to-continue of overtime and training for local and state Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) taskforces. The additional investment for ICAC taskforces and staff is a result of 2015 Wisconsin Act 369, otherwise known as Alicia’s Law.
In addition to additional funding, DOJ’s request establishes an appropriation for new officer training and officer recertification training reimbursement to local law enforcement agencies. DOJ states that this change will ensure the training reimbursements are fully funded going forward.
Outside of his agency’s budget, Attorney General Brad Schimel asks in his budget letter that the governor address the staffing levels and compensation for District Attorneys. The District Attorneys submitted a separate budget request that included funding for a pay progression for assistant attorney generals and adds 96.3 positions across the state.