If you’re stopped for a traffic violation the officer will take note of your race and send it off to Madison, under a provision approved 12-4 by the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee on Tuesday. 

Jim Palmer, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association, says although local budgets are stretched thin, WPPA believes the state is doing everything it can to properly implement the measure which he says will allow Wisconsin to receive additional federal funds. He adds Governor Doyle has federal stimulus dollars allotted to the program.

The measure, designed to curb racial profiling, would take effect in 2011. Palmer says this means enforcement will have ample time to give input to legislators on the most efficient way to enact the program.

All four Republicans on the panel voted no saying law enforcement have better things to do, especially in smaller towns.

The state Office of Justice Assistance will decide how the racial data is used. Doyle’s budget called for data collection to be done in 11 largest counties but the JFC is requiring it statewide.

The governor proposed it to get Milwaukee legislators to agree to let law enforcement stop drivers just for not wearing seat-belts. Until now, opponents of the “primary enforcement” had feared racial profiling. The finance panel endorsed the seat belt measure a few weeks ago.

AUDIO: Brian Moon reports (MP3 :64)

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