Thursday, March 01, 2007

DNA Analysts to Cost $4.1 Million

That number is significant because it is right in the ballpark mentioned by Norman Gahn, one of the best prosecutors in the State of Wisconsin (and working in the Milwaukee County DA's Office.)

Several months ago, Gahn had estimated that repairing the DNA analysis problem would take 'about $5 million.' Frankly, that's small potatoes in a $1.7 Bn tax-hogging budget.

Norm was right:

The Joint Finance Committee unanimously passed an amended budget repair bill that reduces the amount of GPR transfers proposed in Gov. Jim Doyle's original plan, and includes a provision to add the full complement of 31 new state Crime Lab jobs sought by AG J.B. Van Hollen.

Doyle had proposed hiring 15 additional state Crime Lab analysts, at a cost of about $4 million, on April 1 to address the backlog of DNA evidence mounting at the Department of Justice. Van Hollen said to eliminate the backlog by 2010, he would need 31 new positions.

The amendment passed by the committee creates the additonal 16 positions Van Hollen is seeking, effective July 1. The DOJ estimated the initiative would require total funding of $4.1 million in 2007-08 and $3.6 million in 2008-09. Of the 31 positions, 29 are DNA analysts, one is a DNA technician, and one is a DNA analysis supervisor.

There are some who will kvetch and carp about JB's promise until the end of the world. I wish they'd shut up and let the work begin.

1 comment:

grumps said...

I think your math is suspect. You've got $4mil on April 1 plus $4.1 for the extra 16 is $8.1 this year plus $3.6 next cycle amounts to $12 mil in the next 36 months. Then add in the ongoing costs of keeping 30 more people on the payroll through retirement.

Make that 31. We have to keep JBvH's new Deputy going at $102,000+ per year, too.

For a man who promised to clean up in months and with no additional labor vH doesn't seem to have a grp on the problem.