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Legislation Introduced to Extend Bill That Protects Sexual Assault Victims

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TWC News: Legislation Introduced to Extend Bill That Protects Sexual Assault Victims
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A bill that protects sexual assault victims by providing DNA test kits to state and local governments is set to expire this year.

The Debbie Smith Act, originally sponsored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, helps ensure that DNA evidence can be used in sexual assault cases.

The bill also provides a federal grant program to state and local governments to help reduce the backlog of uninspected test kits.

Maloney and other lawmakers have introduced a bill that would extend the law through 2019.

"DNA kits that will be processed because of this bill will put rapists behind bars," Maloney said.

Under the extension, more than $900 million would be appropriatedĀ for Department of Justice programs that handle DNA samples.

A House vote is expected next week.

The bill was first passed in 2004 after rape survivor Debbie Smith testified before Congress urging the use of DNA evidence to solve rape cases.

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