Thursday, July 12, 2018

#TXLEGE: Seriously, you can't find $15 million to cover this?!?

"Then Tamar put ashes on her head, and tore her robe of many colors that was on her, and laid her hand on her head and went away crying bitterly."
2 Samuel 13:19

The awfulness of the system for reporting rape and sexual assault is a subject about which this author has only recently become aware.  Addressing it will be one of our top priorities next session.  In the meantime, this Texas Observer article about the rape kit testing backlog is a must read:
In Texas, about 20,000 backlogged rape kits were identified in 2011. Since then, lawmakers have passed a range of laws and provided new funding to address the backlog. All but about 2,000 of the kits have been processed. But new kits have piled up in the meantime, and there’s no comprehensive total of how many have accumulated. (A new law passed last session requires the Department of Public Safety to implement a tracking system for sexual assault evidence by next year.) With insufficient state funds, Texas lawmakers are now asking private citizens to crowdfund efforts to clear the backlog. A law authored by state Representative Victoria Neave, D-Dallas, last session allows Texans to donate to rape kit testing programs when applying for or renewing a driver’s license. The measure raised nearly $250,000 in its first five months, but a Dallas Morning News editorial in June notes that an estimated $15 million is needed annually to test kits; Neave’s program is expected to raise only about $1 million per year.
Seriously...$15 million?!?

That's it?!?

The state of Texas currently spends northwards of $127 BILLION per year; surely we can find a measly $15 million to cover something this important.

Heck, we could cover this amount simply by abolishing film subsidies.

Bottom Line: As far as the state budget is concerned, this is not a lot of money; we can find it if we make doing so a priority.

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