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State officials plan to ramp up DNA collection on arrest

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Forensic medical assistant Birgit Bayer sorts test tubes filled with materials for DNA testing at the Munich institute of forensic medicine January 27, 2005. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle
Forensic medical assistant Birgit Bayer sorts test tubes filled with materials for DNA testing at the Munich institute of forensic medicine January 27, 2005. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

MADISON, Wis. (WSAU) - A plan backed by Governor Scott Walker and Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen would mean police and prosecutors would collect about six times as many DNA samples as are collected now in Wisconsin.

Walker and Van Hollen came out in support of collecting DNA samples from people accused of felonies last April, rather than just those convicted. Now, they are also supporting the idea of collecting DNA from those convicted of any misdemeanor, including minor ones like disorderly conduct and vagrancy. Walker is expected to include the change in the state spending plan he submits to the Legislature next year.

Van Hollen wants to divert almost five million dollars a year in penalty surcharge money to pay for it. That is sure to set off a fight with Democrats.

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