Rape kit testing, student safety initiatives head to House after Senate approval

WXYZ - Two important public safety bills were approved Thursday by the Michigan Senate and are now headed to the House of Representatives for consideration.

A Senate vote of 32-1 approved a $4 million appropriation to the State Forensics Laboratory Fund in order to DNA test thousands of shelved rape kits from crimes committed in Detroit.

The objective is to protect southeastern Michigan from rapists and other violent criminals by identifying and removing them from the streets in addition to attaining justice for the victims of these terrible crimes.

"The first responsibility of government is public safety, but in this case justice was put on a shelf, and it is appalling," said Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette. "These funds will begin the road to justice for women who have already waited too long.  I would like to thank every senator who voted in support of this important effort to strengthen public safety."

According to a press release from Schuette's office, the $4 million would come directly from both state and national settlements and criminal fines.

The Senate also unanimously approved new student safety legislation. The 'OK-2-SAY' initiative would allow students, parents, school employees and law enforcement officials to call a confidential hotline to report suspected foul play. The goal is to stop school violence and tragedy before it happens.

Both pieces of legislation are now on their way to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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