Editorials

Would you give a dollar to help solve a crime?

THE EDITORIAL BOARD

A sexual assault evidence kit is logged in at the Houston Forensic Science Center’s biology lab in 2015.
A sexual assault evidence kit is logged in at the Houston Forensic Science Center’s biology lab in 2015. AP

One dollar can help solve a crime.

The House approved House Bill 1729, getting Texas closer to funding for testing the shameful amount of untested rape kits in the state.

An estimated 3,500 rape kits are left untested, even after an $11 million push to reduce the backlog of 20,000 untested rape kits in 2013.

Rep. Victoria Neave, D-Dallas, filed HB 1729 to provide an innovative approach to gathering more funds. If the bill passes, Texans could donate $1 or more when renewing their driver’s license.

“Frankly, I believe that our state should be fully funding this,” Neave told the Associated Press. “But I wanted to come up with a creative solution to generate revenue to help end the backlog.”

We applaud the creativity, but the state needs to stop dragging its feet on funding.

Rape kits are not frivolous. They’re byproducts of suspected crime. Testing them could help identify real criminals, much like a ballistics report or an autopsy.

Neave’s funding approach is great, but the Legislature should find a way to foot the bill for this important crime-solving procedure.

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