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Finance panel rejects plans for solicitor general

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The Legislature’s finance panel said no Thursday to a solicitor general’s office in the state Justice Department.

The committee voted 16-0 against Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen’s budget request for a unit to handle the state’s most complicated court matters, including challenges to state laws.

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau said it was not clear whether the solicitor general would be cheaper than the outside attorneys the state hires now to handle long and dragged out cases.

Also Thursday, the Republican-controlled finance panel voted 12-4 against a Democratic request to force the state Crime Lab to keep having facilities in Milwaukee, Madison, and Wausau.

The locations are required by law, and Governor Scott Walker wanted to end the mandate. He said the Justice Department was looking at a safer location for the Milwaukee crime lab in the general Milwaukee area.

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