U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Applauds Obama Administration Action to Help Reduce Wisconsin’s Rape Kit Backlog
Wisconsin’s Department of Justice to Receive $2 Million Federal Investment After Baldwin Calls on U.S. Attorney General to Take “Immediate Steps” to Address Backlog
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Baldwin released the following statement after Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch today announced $41 million in grant awards to 20 jurisdictions to eliminate or reduce the number of untested sexual assault kits across the country, including $2 million for the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Yesterday, Senator Baldwin sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Lynch calling for the Department of Justice to take “immediate steps” after a recent USA Today investigation revealed at least 70,000 sexual assault kits remain untested nationwide, including more than 6,000 in Wisconsin.
“Today’s announcement from the Department of Justice is a major step toward helping victims of sexual assault in Wisconsin and across the country access the swift and thorough justice they deserve,” said Senator Baldwin. “The current backlog in Wisconsin and across the country leaves victims and their families without closure and potentially puts other members of our communities at risk of sexual violence, but I am hopeful this federal investment will provide local law enforcement with resources and technical assistance that can help them eliminate the backlog as quickly as possible.”
As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Baldwin supported the Fiscal Year 2016 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, which included strong funding for the Debbie Smith Act and directed the Department of Justice to use the vast majority of this funding specifically to reduce the backlog in testing sexual assault kits. In 2004, Congress passed the Debbie Smith Act authorizing federal grants to assist local law enforcement in the testing of backlogged DNA samples, and has twice reauthorized this law with overwhelming, bipartisan support.
Today’s announcement is part of an unprecedented partnership with the New York County District Attorney’s Office (DANY) – whose own grant program is contributing $38 million to the cause for a total of $79 million to eliminate the backlog reaching 43 jurisdictions in 27 states across the country.
Press Releases by Tammy Baldwin
U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin, Sherrod Brown and Bob Casey Introducing ‘Buy America’ Amendment to Water Infrastructure Bill, Call on Republican Leaders to Take ActionDec 6th, 2016 by Tammy Baldwin
Republican House leadership removed the Buy America reform, which previously passed the Senate by 95-3
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Statement on Removal of ‘Buy America’ Reform in Water Infrastructure BillDec 5th, 2016 by Tammy Baldwin
“By removing my Buy America standard, Speaker Ryan and House Republicans are embracing the status-quo in Washington.”
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Releases Statement on Nomination of Wealthy Insider with Deep Roots on Wall Street for Treasury SecretaryNov 30th, 2016 by Tammy Baldwin
“Wisconsin families struggling to get ahead do not want foxes guarding the hen house.”
Legislation aids Great Lakes communities by delivering next generation coastal data
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Votes for Bipartisan Reform to Increase Access to High Quality Health Care in Rural WisconsinNov 29th, 2016 by Tammy Baldwin
Rural communities in Wisconsin and across the country face many challenges in accessing high-quality health care.
U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin, Jeanne Shaheen, Ed Markey, and Joe Donnelly Call for Investments to Fight Opioid Epidemic in 21st Century Cures ActNov 23rd, 2016 by Tammy Baldwin
In the letter to Majority Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Reid, the Senators stressed the need to provide immediate funding to address the opioid epidemic.