Texas Senator Bob Hall (R-Edgewood) was the only lawmaker in the Senate to vote against a bill that would crowdfund money to deal with the state’s backlog of thousands of untested rape kits. The measure passed by a 29-1 vote in the Senate on Wednesday.
The bill was uncontroversial in the Texas House of Representatives. HB 1729 was passed in a voice vote in the House on April 5. The legislation would give those renewing or applying for their driver’s license an option to donate $1 or more toward rape kit testing.
The bill was authored by Rep. Victoria Neave (D-Dallas), who said that the kits cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000 to analyze. Neave estimated revenue from the crowdfunding proposal could total about $1 million annually.
More than 3,200 rape kits in Texas remain untested, according to Texas Department of Public Safety statistics released in 2011. The data have not been updated since then.
The bill goes back to the House, where a minor clerical amendment added by the Senate must be approved before it heads to Gov. Abbott’s desk.
Hall's district includes Delta, Fannin, Hopkins, Hunt, Kaufman, Rains, Rockwall and Van Zandt counties, as well as part of Dallas County.