Senator Leyva Applauds $8 Million Funding for Rape Kit Testing

Leyva Will Continue Effort to Require Prompt Testing of All New Rape Kits

Thursday, June 14, 2018

SACRAMENTO – Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) issued the following statement after the California State Senate approved the 2018-19 state budget by the June 15th constitutional deadline:

“As the author of SB 813 that eliminated the statute of limitations on rape in California in 2016, I am thrilled that our state budget finally includes funding to both determine the number of untested rape kits and to promptly test backlogged rape kits.  Rape victims deserve equal access to justice and testing the rape kits associated with their cases will help to identify and prosecute rapists and keep them off our streets and behind bars where they belong. I was proud to help lead efforts in the Senate to secure this critical funding to keep communities and potential victims in California safe.”

“As vital as this $8 million investment in justice clearly is, I will continue working with my colleagues to pass, and urge Governor Brown to sign, SB 1449 this year. This important legislation will require that all new rape kits are tested within weeks of being collected and prevent them from ever being shelved in a warehouse somewhere—as thousands have unfortunately been in years past.  I am pleased that the policy contained within Assemblymember David Chiu’s AB 3118 to conduct a statewide audit of untested rape kits was also included in this budget.”

“I appreciate Senate President pro Tem Toni Atkins, Senate Budget Committee Chair Holly Mitchell, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, Assembly Budget Committee Chair Phil Ting and legislative colleagues supporting my request to prioritize this historic rape kit testing funding this year. I would also like to thank Senate Budget Committee Subcommittee 5 members Senators Nancy Skinner and Jim Beall for their hard work on this important issue.  The lives and peace of mind of countless survivors of rape and sexual assault will be immeasurably improved thanks to this funding.  As a lifelong advocate for equal access to justice, I am confident that today’s budget will help to protect women, families and communities in the Inland Empire and across California.”