MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A legislative panel will decide on Thursday whether the new state budget should let police collect DNA samples from people who have not been convicted of felonies.
The governor and attorney general want to expand the state’s DNA database which police use to find suspects in past and present crimes.
Governor Scott Walker’s proposed budget includes $6 million to have law enforcement collect DNA from all those arrested for felonies and sex crimes, plus those convicted of misdemeanors.
Offenders would pay for the extra sampling with surcharges of up to $250 on their fines.
Law enforcement compares DNA to fingerprints – but DNA contains a person’s health and genetic information, plus prospects about their future health. For that reason, the American Civil Liberties Union and others call the proposed measure an invasion of privacy.
If it’s approved, Wisconsin would join 25 other states and the federal government in collecting DNA upon felony arrests.