Memphis could get $ to test rape kits from President's budget - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Memphis could get $ to test rape kits from President's budget

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Memphis may be getting some help to test over the backlog of more than 12,000 rape kits held by Memphis Police, but it's tied to approval of President Barack Obama's 2015 budget.

We all know how well received Mr. Obama's budgets have been in the past on Capitol Hill.

If at least one part of the President's budget is approved, Memphis could get money to go towards the testing of those rape kits. But it won't be much.

Memphis Police has estimated that it could cost upwards of $6 million to test the thousands of backlogged rape kits, some kits dating back to the 1980s. But in the budget proposal from Washington, D.C., only $35 million would be allotted nationwide to test backlogs in several cities.

The political part of the process, even that small amount is tied to the approval of funding for the Violence Against Women Act. There doesn't appear to be a solid plan as to who gets how much.

FOX13 News tried to ask about the plan in a teleconference Wednesday afternoon with Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder. Oddly, no questions were taken. Vice President Biden did say that the Obama administration considers this small piece of the budget to be one of the most important.

MORE: Committee allocates $1M for 2200 rape kits to be tested
MORE: Gwyn: MPD missed opportunity to clear backlogged rape kits
MORE: New consultant hired to investigate rape kit backlog
MORE: Wharton: Could take 5 years to process 12K rape kits

The Department of Justice will be in charge of divying out the money if that part of the budget is approved by Congress, but again $35 million spread across the nation will not amount to much help in Memphis.

Neither Vice President Biden nor AG Holden addressed specifically how big of a problem this is across the nation. But we do know that large cities like Detroit and Houston are both battling huge backlogs of untested rape kits just like Memphis.

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