MADISON – Today, Representative Sara Rodriguez (D-Brookfield), Representative Lisa Subeck (D-Madison), and Senator Melissa Agard (D-Madison) introduced LRB-2252, legislation that will increase the number of deputy district attorneys, from three to four, in Brown, Dane, and Waukesha counties.
“If a District Attorney’s office is not properly staffed, we have public servants who are overworked and a population that is underserved. This is a common sense bill that will bring equity in staffing across all counties as we work together to make our justice system fairer and bring solace to victims,” said Rep. Sara Rodriguez.
During the 2017-2018 session, statute was changed raising the limit for “populous counties” from 500,000 to 750,000 people. With nearly 250 references to populous counties in state statute, this change had the unintended consequence of affecting District Attorney staffing levels.
“Understaffing in the District Attorney’s office results in unnecessary delays for victims seeking justice and puts public safety at risk,” said Rep. Subeck. “Staffing has not kept pace with growth in some of our more populous counties like Brown, Dane, and Waukesha, jeopardizing the safety of our communities.”
LRB-2252, modeled after a provision in Governor Evers’s budget proposal, would currently affect Brown, Dane, & Waukesha Counties with Racine & Outagamie Counties nearing the threshold.
“Too many people are waiting in the system – we must work to expedite the process of justice in a fair way. Having more Deputy District Attorneys will allow us to thoughtfully focus on pre-trial alternatives. This will save time, money, and ensures justice for both folks harmed and those accused,” said Senator Melissa Agard.
This bill does not provide any counties with additional Assistant District Attorneys. Deputy District Attorneys are promoted from the ranks of Assistant District Attorneys.