Lawmakers propose adding staff to district attorneys' offices

Wisconsin Seal with Gavel

MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - Two state lawmakers are introducing a bill that would work to resolve a critical shortage of assistant district attorneys across Wisconsin.

It's a problem we've covered extensively on Action 2 News as district attorneys' offices have reported being swamped with a backlog of cases.

Just last month, the Marinette County district attorney said he's calling it quits after his backlog surpassed 400 cases.

The bill sponsored by Rep. Andre Jacque (R-De Pere) and Sen. Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) would provide funding for an additional 20 assistant D.A. positions across the state starting in January 2019.

Brown and Outagamie counties would each get two new full-time positions or their equivalent.

Wood County would get the equivalent of one-and-a-half full-time positions.

Barron, Burnett, Dunn, Fond du Lac, Forest, Langlade, Monroe, Portage, Racine and Washburn would get the equivalent of one full-time position.

Adams, Bayfield, Columbia, Douglas, Grant, Jackson, Lincoln, Polk, Shawano/Menominee and Washington county D.A.'s offices would get the equivalent of one-half full-time position.

A statement from Rep. Jacque says this would bring every county except Florence to at least 58.5 percent of its estimated staffing level needs, based on a study using data from 2012-2014.

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