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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: DEMOCRATS DEFEAT BIPARTISAN OWI FUNDING PROPOSAL

Robin J. Vos

    State Representative • 63rd Assembly District • Racine County

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For Further Information Contact:                                           March 16, 2010

Rep. Robin Vos

(608) 266 9171

DEMOCRATS DEFEAT BIPARTISAN OWI FUNDING PROPOSAL

MadisonDemocrats on the Joint Finance Committee voted against a bipartisan proposal today to increase district attorney funding for OWI enforcement.  The proposal, offered by Rep. Robin Vos (R-Caledonia), garnered bipartisan support - supported by his Republican colleagues on the committee as well as former Senate Democratic leader Sen. Judy Robson. 

“It’s incredible to me that we would pass a bipartisan bill to increase OWI penalties and then fail to give prosecutors the funding they need to actually enforce the new laws,” exclaimed Vos.

The proposal offered by Vos and Robson directed $4 million to district attorneys for 54 additional DA positions.  The plan provided 27 positions and $2 million in this biennium and stipulated that they must come back to the committee in a year to report on actual case increases due to the new OWI law.  The committee could then decide whether or not to allocate the additional $2 million. Prosecutors have indicated they actually need $5.6 million per biennium to keep up with OWI caseload.

“District Attorneys are already so far behind with their regular cases,” explained Vos. “By increasing their caseload and not increasing their resources appropriately, we run the risk of a repeat offender actually offending again before he even has his first day in court.”

The proposal was defeated on a vote of 11-5.  Senator Robson was the only Democrat to support the funding.

“I’m disappointed that last year we were almost unanimous in our approach to get tough on drunk drivers,” said Vos. “Only to see partisanship get in the way of adequately funding the proposal this year.” 

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