State Rep. Robyn Vining
Press Release

Rep. Robyn Vining Joins Governor Evers to Announce Additional Assistant District Attorney Positions in Waukesha County

"I advocated on behalf of my district for these needed positions there and in Milwaukee County."

By - Sep 18th, 2019 04:05 pm

MADISON – Yesterday, Rep. Robyn Vining (D-Wauwatosa) spoke at a press conference recognizing the additional Assistant District Attorney positions added to Waukesha County, with Governor Tony Evers, Waukesha County Assistant District Attorney Michael Thurston, and Angela Mancuso, Executive Director of The Women’s Center in Waukesha. The budget passed through the Republican-controlled legislature distributed 64.95 Assistant District Attorney positions to counties selected by Republicans — none of which went to Milwaukee County.

With Governor Evers’ partial veto, he removed the earmarked chosen counties, and instead directed the Department of Administration to work with the State Prosecutors Office to determine the counties with most need. 56 counties were selected and out of the total additional positions, 2.5 went to Waukesha County and 3 went to Milwaukee County. The budget also increased public defender pay from $40/hour to $70/hour. Rep. Vining released the following statement in support of these additional positions:

“As a legislator representing part of Waukesha County, it’s my job to help make sure this county has the resources it needs to best serve its residents. Yesterday, we were there to recognize the 2.5 new Assistant District Attorney positions for Waukesha County. I advocated on behalf of my district for these needed positions there and in Milwaukee County.

“Victims receive swifter justice when staffing levels increase and caseloads decrease. These Assistant District Attorneys can spend more time bringing justice to victims of sensitive crimes. Increased staff and decreased caseloads allow victims the attention they need and deserve during a vulnerable time.

“When Waukesha County District Attorney Opper explained the need for these positions, she said:  ‘If new prosecutor positions are added, we do intend to improve our efforts in meeting with victims and charging cases faster, especially in the area of domestic violence and sensitive crimes.’

“I appreciate this commitment, because for years I have fought beside and on behalf of women and children. We deserve a state with a zero tolerance for sexual violence, and domestic abuse. This topic is sensitive and serious– we must protect the vulnerable, and champion equal protection.

“Domestic violence, sensitive crimes, and other violent crimes require more time and care. Adding more prosecutors will help ensure that victims of crime get the attention they need from the pre-charging stage through sentencing.

“More time and attention can also be spent on Waukesha County’s Drug Treatment Court. The county is making very important efforts to help with the opioid epidemic. I’ve seen how drug treatment courts can help lift up families in crisis. If we want a justice system focused on rehabilitation, we must invest in these programs, which require time and attention.

“I’m a member of the Speaker’s Task Force on Adoption, and we’ve heard from adoptive parents, DAs, adoptees, case managers – that public adoption is more easily attained if the courts are better staffed. The process is faster and easier when the staff have manageable caseloads.

“I look forward to the positive outcomes that will occur in Waukesha County, and around the state, from these additional Assistant District Attorney positions. Thank you to Governor Evers for providing what will hopefully contribute to a more just criminal justice system.”

Rep. Robyn Vining represents the 14th Assembly District, which includes parts of Brookfield, Wauwatosa, and Milwaukee. For more information, visit Rep. Vining’s website here.

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