TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – After Attorney General Pam Bondi announced that thousands of rape kits have gone untested, a House Democrat has filed a bill that seeks new policies and additional money for processing evidence in alleged sexual assault cases.
Filed by Rep. Janet Cruz, the bill would require law-enforcement agencies to adopt policies that include trying to ensure that evidence gets processed and returned to agencies within 12 months of alleged sexual assaults.READ MORE: Royal Family Pays Final Respects To Prince Philip, Funeral Held At St. George's Chapel
Also, the bill calls for an additional $1,000 in court costs for people convicted of certain sexual offenses. The money would be used to pay for processing and analyzing medical evidence in investigations of alleged sexual assaults.READ MORE: 60 Years After The Bay Of Pigs Invasion, Many Cuban Americans' Distrust Of The Democratic Party Still Affects National Politics
“The Legislature intends that all state law enforcement agencies adopt formal policies to ensure that rape kits are promptly submitted and that the funding of the statewide criminal analysis laboratory system be addressed to help ensure that such kits are processed in a timely manner,” the bill says.
Bondi called a news conference last week to detail the massive backlog of untested rape kits and to call for more funding for crime labs. Cruz’s bill will be considered during the 2016 legislative session, which starts in January.MORE NEWS: Justice Department Sues Roger Stone In Fort Lauderdale Over $2 Million In Unpaid Taxes
The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.