FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 01/25/2018
State Representative Victoria Neave Announces Launch of “Crowdfunding” Legislation to Help Fund the Backlog of Untested Rape Kits
DALLAS ─ State Representative Victoria Neave (HD 107) announces the full implementation of House Bills 1729 and 4102, which create a donation-based program to help address the backlog of thousands of untested rape kits in Texas. The cost of testing rape kits is often cited as a main reason for the rape kit backlog. Rep. Neave’s legislation will help generate funding to test evidence in sexual assault cases by “crowdfunding.”
House Bills 1729 and 4102 by State Rep. Victoria Neave allow people to donate $1 or more towards the testing of evidence in sexual assault cases when they apply for or renew their driver’s license, personal ID card, commercial driver’s license, and motor vehicle registration. Together, these bills are expected to generate $1 million a year. The grant program will be administered by the Texas Department of Public Safety (HB 1729) and the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (HB 4102) in conjunction with the Criminal Justice Division of the Governor’s office.
"Through HB1729 and HB4102, we have an opportunity to bring justice to women and all survivors of sexual assault who are still waiting to have their rape kits tested. No woman should have to wonder whether the government will have the funds to test her rape kit,” said Rep. Victoria Neave. “I believe that the State should be fully funding this issue, but it’s not, so our creative legislation will generate revenue because rape victims should not have to wait this long. I am hopeful that by combining our collective compassion as Texans, one dollar can go a long way to help victims of sexual assault." – State Rep. Victoria Neave
Before today’s official launch, the Texas Department of Public Safety has already collected over $25,000 in donations in January 2018, with donations ranging from $1 to $100.
"Sexual assault evidence collection kits provide our law enforcement and prosecutors with a critical tool for identifying and prosecuting offenders. The swift and accurate testing of this evidence is vital to ensuring that perpetrators are brought to justice before they can assault again. Supporting our survivors and providing law enforcement the resources they need is and always will be a cornerstone of my administration, which is why I was proud to sign HB 1729 into law,” said Governor Greg Abbott.
Victoria Neave represents Texas House District 107, which includes parts of East Dallas, Mesquite, and Garland. She serves on the House Committee on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence and the House Committee on County Affairs. Victoria was named "Freshman of the Year" by the House Democratic Caucus, to the "Top 5 North Texas Legislators" by the Dallas Observer, and "Public Elected Official of the Year" by the National Association of Social Workers, North Central Texas-Dallas Area Branch.