Fantastic Four: (from left) Founder Jorge Baldor, executive director Rebecca Acuña, and president Miguel Solis have already found success with their year-old Latino Center for Leadership Development. Lawyer Victoria Neave’s campaign for Texas House continued it.

Politics & Government

This Freshman Dallas Rep’s First Bill Will Help Battle the Rape Kit Backlog

The bill, authored by State Rep. Victoria Neave (she's on the right in the photo above), will use donations from driver's license renewals to test rape kits.

You may recognize the name Victoria Neave from both our digital and print pages. Most recently, the Democratic state representative organized the Dallas Women’s March, which attracted thousands downtown in January despite just a week’s worth of notice. The young attorney ascended into office in 2016, winning a district that covers a swath of East Dallas, Mesquite, and Garland that had for years voted Republican. And now, add this to her resume: On Wednesday, Neave’s first bill passed out of the Texas House with bipartisan support. It will solicit donations from Texans who are renewing their driver’s licenses to help offset the cost of chipping away at the state’s staggering rape kit backlog. They can chip in $1 or more, and the money will go toward old tests and new ones.

The Dallas Morning News has coverage from Austin, including this note: 4,000 statewide are still awaiting testing, despite an $11 million infusion from 2013 that helped get the backlog down from 19,000. Neave told the paper that she wanted her first bill to be “meaningful for women and families all across our state.” Mission accomplished.