The Faces of 90.5 WESA
Government & Politics
Mon November 18, 2013
Pileggi Dismisses State Police’s Warnings About Expanding DNA Collection
One of the top Republicans in the state Senate is dismissing concerns from the State Police about a proposal to expand the state’s DNA collection is made law.
They say it would necessitate more funding from the commonwealth.
But GOP Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi says he doesn’t think the people who staff the state’s public forensic labs are “unbiased” in their assessment of how much money they would need to handle a larger workload.
"Whether it’s three million, five million, seven million, nine million -- we have a 28-plus billion dollar budget," Pileggi said. "Everyone agrees that utilization of this technology prevents serious sexual offenses, serious assaults, and homicides. Everyone agrees with that. So how to put a price tag on that, I don’t even think that’s a conversation that we should be having."
State Police testified before House lawmakers on pending legislation to expand the commonwealth’s DNA collection, saying it would cost them up to seven million dollars more a year.
That doesn’t include the price of construction for a second multi-million dollar laboratory to keep up with forensic analysis.
Pileggi’s proposal would allow law enforcement to collect DNA from people arrested for serious crimes before conviction.
Right now, samples can only be taken post-conviction.
The measure has passed in the state Senate and is expected to get a House committee vote this week.