MADISON, Wis. - The state Assembly approved of more prosecutors for many Wisconsin counties' district attorney offices but not for Dane County, despite the county's population growth and case overload for prosecutors.
Many district attorneys' offices have been dealing with the shortage for years. A 2016 workload analysis revealed the state was 139 prosecutors short of what it needs.
Dane County has added just one position in 33 years, despite adding nearly 200,000 residents. Under the Assembly measure, the state will add 54 positions, but only counties operating below 79 percent of the recommended staffing from the 2016 analysis will qualify. Dane County is at 90 percent.
"If we look at our population and say that there should be one prosecutor for every 10,000 in population, we should literally be an office of about 50 attorneys, but we're nowhere near that," Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne said.
About 40 counties qualify for an extra prosecutor. The counties include Adams, Columbia, Grant, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Lafayette and Juneau Counties. Rock County and Sauk County also do not qualify.
The bill comes with a $4 million price tag. It's part of several bills the Assembly passed that still need to get through the Senate.
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