Bill proposes crowdfunding to fix Texas’ rape kit backlog

A Democratic lawmaker from Dallas has proposed that Texas turn to crowdfunding to help address its backlog of untested rape kits.

LAURA SKELDING/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

State Representative Victoria Neave introduced a bill, which had its first public hearing Monday, that would give Texas citizens the option of donating $1 or more when they renew their driver licenses to go toward testing the rape kits. According to the New York Times, testing a rape kit can cost between $1,000 and $1,5000.

The paper reports that donations would generate approximately $1 million a year, based on a similar tactic previously used to collect money for veterans. Administrative deductions would leave about $800,000 to supplement the budget now in place for testing.

Although the New York Times reports that Texas is not alone in battling a rape kit backlog, the paper says crowdfunding as a state law is a new tactic.

A final vote on the bill will be made before the end of the legislative session in May.

At a local level, Austin has experienced its share of DNA testing woes, including a mismanaged lab, a growing backlog of untested kits and a broken freezer.

READ: 2,200 convicted persons to be notified of Austin DNA lab problems

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