NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a measure that provides an additional $5 million in federal funds to help law enforcement agencies in Tennessee and elsewhere reduce their backlogs of untested rape kits.
The legislation sponsored by Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen of Memphis passed on a voice vote this week. It's an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2015 Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations bill.
Of roughly 400,000 untested rape kits sitting in evidence rooms nationwide, about 12,000 remain untested in Memphis — more than anywhere else in the country.
Cohen's amendment transfers the funds to a new grant program focused specifically on helping law enforcement agencies nationwide reduce their backlogs.
Tennessee passed a law this year that requires law enforcement agencies to inventory their rape kits.