When Wisconsin officials up for election in seven weeks voted to track convicted sex offenders with lifetime GPS monitoring, they didn’t know it would cost $23.7 million in its first two years, and much more in the future as the number of offenders grows, says the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The state corrections department is seeking a two-year, $247 million increase, a 13 percent bump from the previous budget. The department also cited health care for an increasingly aging inmate population and the need to contract with counties for additional beds.
Rep. Scott Suder said the department had grossly overestimated what it would need to fund sex-offender monitoring. Legislators and Gov. Jim Doyle, who signed lifetime GPS monitoring of sex offenders in a public ceremony, thought it was worth going “to this extreme” to protect the public, said another lawmaker. Doyle also signed into law measures to enhance penalties for sex offenders and expand the definition of a “sexually violent person.”