Rape kit billTexas Sen. John Cornyn, a powerful Republican in Washington, D.C., is proud of his SAFER Act, which passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.He should be proud. The Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Registry bill aims to help ensure justice for victims of sexual assault by auditing and reducing the backlog of untested rape kits held by law enforcement agencies. The backlog is estimated to be as many as 400,000 kits.It's simply unconscionable that so much evidence that could be used to put rapists behind bars is instead sitting around not yet tested for DNA matches. It means other women are in danger because rapists are still at large.Cornyn's legislation would shift funding from other uses to help state and local governments take stock of those untested kits and create a national registry to help prioritize their testing.The act has bipartisan support, Cornyn says. That's not surprising, given that Cornyn stole the SAFER crusade from a Democrat.State Sen. Wendy Davis, about as big a deal in state Democratic circles as Cornyn is among national Republicans, pushed for and passed similar action last year in the Texas Legislature, requiring law enforcement agencies in the state to report the status of rape kit laboratory analyses.Davis' bill passed unanimously in the Senate. It had eight opponents on final passage in the House, one of whom was Republican Rep. Mark Shelton, who is opposing Davis in her re-election effort.A good idea is a good idea. Davis says she has thanked Cornyn for his efforts, which could end up providing additional funding for the actions called for in her bill.United Way's 90thWant to help the United Way of Tarrant County celebrate its 90th anniversary? Well, you can't. Or yes, you can.Let's explain. The charity-funding organization, whose forerunner the Fort Worth Community Chest was established in 1922, will have a party marking its birthday on Thursday. Billed as a "Cool 90 Breakfast Bash," the event is sponsored by BNSF Railway and is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. in Ballroom C of the Fort Worth Convention Center.That's the part you've missed out on if you don't already have a ticket. Ballroom C is a pretty big room, but all the seats for the event have been reserved.There's a more important part you can still play.The event will also launch the 2012 United Way fundraising campaign, which will include the announcement of the campaign goal. The idea is to reach that goal by March 27.These recent recession years have not been kind to United Way. The 2011 campaign received pledges of $20.9 million, a hefty chunk of change but still 5 percent short of the $22 million goal.The 44 agencies that receive United Way funding were left with a decrease for the second year in a row.Other than the general nationwide economic ills, Tarrant County has been hit hard by continued unpleasant news regarding the American Airlines bankruptcy and by low natural gas prices that significantly slowed the Barnett Shale drilling boom.BNSF Chairman and CEO Matt Rose will lead the 2012 campaign, and United Way's board chairman is Julie Wilson, vice president of urban development for Chesapeake Energy Corp.The two have a real challenge ahead to turn around the giving slump and top the 2012 campaign goal.You can help with a pledge of support.