Nevada Democrats support time limits on rape kits
Nevada Democrats got behind a plan on Friday to impose time limits on both police departments and crime laboratories to test rape kits, but a mid-session deadline is dooming scores of other Republican proposals.
Members of the Assembly Judiciary Committee agreed on amended legislation requiring lab specialists to test forensic samples from sexual assault cases within 120 days of receiving them.
The proposal will also seek a yet-unspecified amount of state funding to address a backlog of rape kits that last month totaled roughly 6,400 solved and unsolved cases.
The amendment reverses an effort led by Democratic Assemblywoman Teresa Benitez-Thompson earlier this week to forego time limits on laboratories, which also would remove a $750,000 price tag. She declined to comment during a break in committee meetings on the hectic day.
Republican Attorney General Adam Laxalt has been pushing to speed up rape-kit testing and applauded the amendment and Democrats for considering recommendations from a rape-kit working group he formed two years ago.
“Today’s amendment and passage out of committee brings us one step closer to ending the backlog and providing justice for victims and survivors of sexual assault,” Laxalt said.
Here’s a look at proposals likely to die overnight:
BAN ON SANCTUARY CITIES
Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson has repeatedly advocated to prohibit city and county officials from discouraging law enforcement agencies from implementing federal immigration laws. The Henderson Republican’s Senate Bill 333 would have required the state attorney general to investigate any complaint that a local government is refusing to detain people living in the country illegally.
BIRTH CERTIFICATES FOR STILLBORN BABIES
The bipartisan and bicameral Senate Bill 296 would require the Nevada Board of Health to provide parents of stillborn babies with birth certificates.
LOADED FIREARMS AT THE READY
A Republican-led interim lands committee wanted to allow hunters to keep loaded rifles and shotguns in vehicles that are on — and allow them to fire across — dirt roads and state highways if they’re intending to shoot coyote, black-tailed jackrabbit or another species that does not require a hunting license.