- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 11, 2017

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Texas House has preliminarily approved a bill creating a statewide electronic tracking system for forensic evidence collected in sex offense cases.

The chamber used a voice vote Tuesday to pass Austin Democratic Rep. Donna Howard’s proposal, which would create an online system making cases easier to follow once physical evidence has been collected. It’s expected to cost about $1.5 million during Texas’ 2018-2019 budget cycle.

Howard says a sizeable rape kit testing backlog has made it difficult for victims to track their cases. She said the idea for the bill came from an assault victim who told of being frustrated with the lack of information about the progress of her case after evidence was collected.

A final vote, likely coming Wednesday, will send Howard’s bill to the state Senate.

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