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Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Budget revised to stop looting, leaving thousands of Massachusetts rape kits intact

The language now burning on Governor Charlie Baker’s desk in the amendment section of the budget bill that sits indefinitely on laboratory shelves – decades old – many decades old rape, will close the gap in the legislature that has left more than 300 rape kits.

D-Leominster, Rep. Natalie Higgins says, “Why is it an incredibly dramatic collection of evidence that survivors sat on only one shelf in 722 hours of violent crime,” “it really breaks confidence.”

Higgins helped draft a 2018 bill that changed the tracking process for rape kits, requiring all samples to be tested within 30 days of collection requ The next year, the legislature and Buck allocated $ 8 million to address the backlog of about 400 unspecified kits.

A state’s inventory audit finally found more than 300 detected rape kits in the 1980s and 1990s, around 2000. An amendment filed by Higgins for the 2022 budget would force the State Crime Lab to outline those samples – or a plan to do so – by the end of the year.

This difference is reflected in the single word: “not submitted.”

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