Bryan Cohen Mar. 20, 2013, 7:05pm

MADISON, Wis. (Legal Newsline) - Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen testified Tuesday before members of Wisconsin's Joint Finance Committee to address questions related to the governor's 2013-2015 Department of Justice budget recommendations.

Van Hollen praised the budget recommendations and said they would help the Department of Justice to protect children and assist victims of crime.

"I'm encouraged by Governor Walker's budget recommendations for the Department of Justice, and I'm hopeful that under this proposal we'll be able to further government's top priority - public safety," Van Hollen said. "This budget is historic in its efforts to assist crime victims, protect children, and identify criminal suspects earlier through DNA collection at arrest."

The proposed budget would give the Department of Justice the authorization to collect DNA at the time of arrest for all felony and certain misdemeanor offenses, in addition to authorized DNA collection for all convictions of misdemeanors. Walker's budget recommendations would give the department increased resources to fight commercial sexual exploitation of children by adding positions to the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The budget would also direct state funding for the Sexual Assault Victims Services grant program to replace surcharge-based revenue for grants that previously supported sexual assault victims.

The department would also benefit through the establishment of a GPS tracking system to protect victims of domestic violence after an injunction or a petition for a restraining order, increased funding and positions for the Wisconsin Statewide Information Center, and the movement of multiple programs from other departments to the DOJ.

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