Republican says rape kit testing bill will pass Legislature

Wisconsin Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul and advocates for sexual assault victims is calling on Republicans to take action on a bill designed to prevent future backlogs in the testing of evidence collected following a sexual assault.

The proposal would set new timelines and protocols for nurses, victims and members of law enforcement. It was developed by lawmakers, victims’ rights advocates, members of law enforcement and others after years of discussion amid criticism of the state’s backlog.

The measure has broad bipartisan support but has languished in the Assembly. The Senate approved it in October.

Kaul on Tuesday called on the chairman of the Assembly Health Committee, Republican Rep. Joe Sanfelippo, to hold a hearing on the bill.

Sanfelippo says he planned to hold a hearing on the bill and expected it would be pass before the end of session next year. The Senate passed it in October but the measure has languished in the Assembly. That inaction led Kaul and advocates to call for action.

Sanfelippo says he had reservations about the bill, but says there is pressure to pass it “because it looks good from a political standpoint.”

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has said he would sign it.

Get your weather forecast from people who actually live in your community. We update with short, easy-to-use video forecasts you can watch on your phone every day. Download the iOS or Android app here.