BOISE — Idaho lawmakers have advanced legislation that would change how the state pays for the collection of evidence in sexual assault investigations.
State law currently says the cost of a rape kit is first billed to a sexual assault victim's health insurance and any remaining costs are then picked up by the state.
Sexual assault is the only crime in Idaho where the victim's insurance is billed for collecting forensic evidence.
Rep. Melissa Wintrow, a Democrat from Boise, says her measure takes insurance out of the billing process and directs the state's Crime Victims Compensation Program to pay the entire amount of the cost of a rape kit.
House members voted 68-1 Wednesday to send Wintrow's proposal to the Senate.
Rape kits contain samples of semen, saliva or blood taken from a victim, usually a woman, during an invasive and intimate examination that can last up to six hours.