As lawmakers in Juneau near the end of this session and begin mulling over the capital budget, they'll be deciding whether — and how — to fund a pillar of Gov. Sean Parnell's initiative against domestic violence: a proposed $76 million crime lab to replace an aging and cramped facility.
The state has already spent about $16.8 million to design the new structure and to prepare its site. An architect on the project says the project is "hammer ready" with utilities already positioned.
Parnell, in seeking funding, said in a letter to legislators that the new lab will offer a modern facility that will allow evidence to be quickly and efficiently analyzed. New technology will help with arson investigations, cases involving trace evidence, latent fingerprints and ballistic identification, he said.
"Unfortunately, the existing outdated and overcrowded crime lab is insufficient to accommodate the increased workloads," Parnell wrote. "The design of the new crime lab includes all the necessary elements to optimize the use of DNA evidence and other crucial tools for solving crimes."
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