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Republicans block amendment for $2 million to fund untested rape kits

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One of the biggest problems Republicans seem to have in elections is their "woman problem." In one state, Republicans aren't doing anything to make a better case for their party's stance with women and women's rights.

According to the Times Free Press, state Democrats, led by Sen. Jim Kyle (D-Memphis), attempted to add on an amendment last week to the state budget that would deal with the growing backlog of untested rape kits in the state. The cost of $2 million would be covered by tapping into the near $40 million state surplus in the General Assembly's reserve account.

Sen. Kyle sent out a statement in the hopes that it would urge Republicans to include the amendment.

"Our state has extended the statute of limitations for the crime of rape and ordered an inventory to learn more about the issue...but if we don't fund testing, we are failing our moral obligation to the women whose attackers have gone unpunished."

State Senate Majority President Mark Norris (R-Collierville) spoke to the Huffington Post and stated that while he does agree that more funding is needed for rape kits, he didn't agree with the recent amendment.

"(T)he late-filed motion on our budget was just sort of a haphazard last-minute approach to a bigger problem...We've got a very methodical way we're going about trying to tackle it, and to suggest that $2 million would be helpful at this point just wasn't right."

Kyle fought back against Norris' comments, stating "Do we have to count all the apples on the tree before we start picking them?" According to CBS News, there are more than 12,000 untested rape kits in Tennessee dating back to the 1980s and more than 400,000 throughout the entire country. While Republicans claim they want to get these rape kits tested, this issue, like many others, will continue to be kicked down the road until further notice.


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