- Associated Press - Friday, April 3, 2015

CHICAGO (AP) - House Speaker Michael Madigan wants to increase funding for state crime labs to address a backlog in processing evidence.

The Chicago Democrat introduced legislation to provide an additional $6 million for forensics laboratories in the budget year that begins July 1.

In a statement, Madigan says he’s responding to concerns that sexual predators may have gone free because crucial evidence couldn’t be processed. He says delays are affecting people across Illinois.

Madigan says the funding should be a priority even in a difficult budget year. He says it “will be reassuring to crime victims and help minimize wrongful prosecutions.”

Illinois faces a more than $6 billion budget shortfall next year.

Madigan says the legislation is backed by several law enforcement groups and victim rights organizations.

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The bill is HB4198.

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