Bill aims to tackle rape kit backlogs in Texas

A Texas state representative has a new idea to solve a long-standing serious concern -- the more than 19,000 untested rape kits in Texas. State Rep. Victoria Neave joins Good Day to share details on the bill she filed Thursday.

Neave is a newly elected representative and this is actually the first bill that she’s put her name on. She said she felt she needed to do so for the thousands of women who bravely submitted to tests after they were raped and violated, but those tests are just sitting there.

It’s really just a money problem. The cities and counties that need to test these rape kits simply don’t have the funding to test them. That’s where Neave wants the state to help out.

“House Bill 1729 is sort of an innovated approach where we can try to solve the funding issue. What our bill would do is actually create a voluntary donation process when folks go get their driver’s license or apply or renew. They have a little box where they can contribute a dollar or a certain amount,” she said.

Neave said the rape kit backlog is an issue that the state needs to address right away. In Dallas alone there are 2,500 kits just sitting on the shelf.

“This we wanted to make sure since we have a really tight budget to be able to provide a funding mechanism and help women who are victims of sexual assault,” she said.

Similar statewide donation programs in the past have raised millions of dollars, Neave said.

“We’re hopeful that this could really make a big impact,” she said.

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