Alaska lawmakers approve funding to test rape kits

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JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Alaska lawmakers have inserted $2.75 million into the state's capital budget to fund the testing of the backlog of rape kits.

The Juneau Empire reports the funding boost this week will help pay to send the kits to outside labs to examine the untested DNA evidence from sexual assault cases over the past several years.

According to the state Department of Public Safety, there are more than 3,400 untested rape kits from police departments across the state.

Legislators have also approved a bill that requires the state to report the number of untested kits.

Randi Breager, a criminal justice planner at the state crime lab, says the new money will help testing, but getting through the backlog will take time.