Senator Kemp Hannon, Chair of the State Senate Health Committee, today announced his package of legislation aimed at further addressing issues around rape kit testing gained unanimous approval by the Committee.

The package of bills sponsored by Senator Hannon include:

S 6428 - establishes the Sexual Assault Survivor Bill of Rights, enhances survivors’ access to information on their case, and requires the Department of Health and Division of Criminal Justice Services to study establishing a statewide sexual offense evidence kit tracking system and the feasibility of increasing the time such kits are maintained. 

S 6947 - establishes a Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) Telemedicine pilot program to provide expert, comprehensive care to patients who have been sexually assaulted and to support providers in health care facilities that do not have the expertise of an in house SAFE program

S 6964 - includes within the public health law, the current prohibition on hospitals billing survivors for sexual assault forensic examinations without their consent.

“This package of legislation aimed at helping survivors of sexual assault builds upon new laws the Senate championed over the last few years to provide funding and make sure New York State is testing all rape kits, no matter how old, and including DNA evidence in the national CODIS database so matches can be made,” explained Senator Kemp Hannon (R-Nassau). “Today’s package of bills makes sure survivors rights are clearly spelled out, that hospitals are not inappropriately charging survivors, and that studies are conducted to explore further advancing the rights of sexual assault victims.”

Senator Hannon continues to work with advocates to ensure sexual assault survivors get the best treatment possible, are not re-victimized by the system and perpetrators are held responsible and taken off the streets.  Memorandum of Support for each of these three proposals from the Joyful Heart Foundation, a national advocacy organization dedicated to ending the rape kit backlog with headquarters in New York, is a strong testament to this partnership.