- Associated Press - Thursday, February 12, 2015

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - A key Vermont lawmaker says expanding the number of DNA samples taken into a state database will be put off for at least a year due to a backlog in the existing program.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has been considering a plan to collect DNA samples from anyone convicted of a misdemeanor. Vermont currently collects samples just from those convicted of felonies.

But Sen. Richard Sears, the committee’s chairman, says public safety officials have told the committee that the existing program has a backlog of about 2,500 DNA samples waiting to be processed. Sears says part of the problem is a shortage of staff in the state lab that processes the samples.

And he says lawmakers don’t want to add to the lab’s workload until the existing backlog is resolved.

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