AG Brad Schimel wants $1.6M to hire more lab workers

MADISON — Attorney General Brad Schimel wants an additional $1.6 million in the next state budget to hire more than a dozen more state crime lab employees.

Testing delays have plagued the labs for years as police submit more evidence in hopes of developing suspect DNA profiles and other leads.

Schimel submitted his 2019-2021 budget request to Gov. Scott Walker’s administration Monday. He asks for $1.6 million over the biennium to fund 14 additional full-time positions in the labs. The positions include forensic specialists, crime scene responders and a digital forensics unit.

Schimel also asked to create a pay progression for lab analysts to improve retention. The state Justice Department would absorb the initial costs.

He also wants to place the labs under the control of a new forensic sciences division.