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Lawmakers could decide on adding solicitor general position Thursday

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin lawmakers could decide Thursday whether the Justice Department needs a solicitor general to handle a growing number of legal challenges to state laws and policies.

The Joint Finance Committee will take up a number of high-profile budget proposals – including a million dollars to bring back a former division to handle the state’s more complex cases and appeals.

Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says he needs a solicitor general, as critics file more challenges to measures from Governor Scott Walker and majority GOP lawmakers.

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau says the governor can bring in outside lawyers to help the Justice Department, and it’s not clear whether the solicitor general would save money.

The non-partisan fiscal agency also said the attorneys in the new division would be paid over twice as much as other state lawyers.