(Beaver Dam) State Representative Mark Born says he is extremely disappointed that the State Senate is now stalling a bill that would provide funding for new prosecutors throughout the state. The Beaver Dam Republican sponsored the bill with Representative John Nygren of Marinette that would fund 54 new assistant district attorney positions. A workload analysis shows that Wisconsin has a need for an additional 139 prosecutors across the state. Dodge County is two prosecutors short according to the study. Born says the bill, which the Assembly passed, would bring much-needed resources to communities across Wisconsin. Born says one of the biggest obstacles keeping district attorney’s from prosecuting more crimes and putting criminals behind bars is a shortage of staffing in their offices.
Dodge County District Attorney Kurt Klomberg says he is grateful for the leadership provided by Born and Nygren in recognizing the impact that understaffing has on public safety but also disappointed by the latest development. Klomberg says he is confident the fight will continue because prosecutors are in very significant need. Klomberg says the problem in Dodge County is being offset by the good fortune that there are several veteran prosecutors on staff. However, he notes that the flipside of having longtime prosecutors is that they will be retiring soon. Born and Nygren are calling on their Senate colleagues join the Assembly in acting now to provide resources to address this problem. The proposal was initially drafted as an amendment to a Senate bill authored by Representative Joe Sanfelippo of New Berlin and Senator Leah Vukmir of Brookfield using data from the non-partisan Legislative Audit Bureau’s District Attorney Office Workload Analysis. It would add positions in counties whose staffing as a percentage of workload were below the statewide average, the same counties that requested new positions in the last budget.