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rape kits

Florence Snyder: Rick Swearingen plays J. Edgar Hoover while Broward burns

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While Bald Badasses Rick Scott and Rick (“We know the terrorists are here!”) Swearingen are busy playing dress-up like Jack Bauer and Jason Bourne, Florida’s criminal justice basics are increasingly under the command of the Keystone Kops. The governor and FDLE commissioner are looking to raid state trust funds to “fight terrorism” by adding 46 new Counterterrorism Avengers to the payroll. It’s a good way to grab a cheap headline, and deflect attention from truly terrifying tales of our collapsing…

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Rape kits delayed is justice denied

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The Senate Subcommittee on Justice Appropriations is well-pleased to be “on track” in clearing the backlog of unprocessed sexual assault kits. Before you break out the celebratory cupcakes, consider that “the track” requires nothing more than processing about 25 percent of the backlog in a year. We don’t know how many rapists are eyeing their next victim, as opposed to sitting in jail, by reason of the rape kit backlog. But we do know that every kit represents a medical…

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Abortion, budget, tax cuts among new Florida laws

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Florida legislators passed 279 bills during this year’s session three months ago, and 162 of them take effect on Friday with the start of the state’s fiscal year, affecting school choice, abortion, tax cuts and many more aspects of life in the Sunshine State. Here’s a roundup of some of the measures taking effect: BUDGET: The $82.3 billion budget was passed by a combined vote of 159-1. It includes more than $700 million for school construction and $203.8 million for…

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Rick Scott signs 9 bills into law

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Gov. Rick Scott continued a flurry of post-Legislative Session activity Wednesday morning, signing nine bills passed during the 2016 lawmaking period into state law. The highest-profile bills meeting the governor’s approval include a requirement that Florida law enforcement test all rape kits within 120 days of their submission, the creation of a needle exchange pilot program in Miami, and a provision allowing judges more discretion when it comes to deciding the custody of adopted children. The full list of laws enacted on…

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Bill requiring quick testing of rape kits goes to Gov. Rick Scott

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Law enforcement agencies will soon have to turn over rape kits for testing within 30 days under a bill sent Wednesday to Gov. Rick Scott, who plans to sign it. The bill is a response to a backlog of thousands of untested rape kits in Florida, an issue Attorney General Pam Bondi brought awareness to last fall. “This can make a tremendous impact not only in the state of Florida but throughout our country,” said Bondi, who noted the information…

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Today on Context Florida: No. 1 political panderer, guns and cars, office workers and rape kits & child safety

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Today on Context Florida: Diane Roberts takes a caustic look at the 2016 presidential race in the manner of banter between ESPN sportscasters to determine which candidate is No. 1 ranked in pandering. In America guns now kill as many people as cars. The facts behind this trend offer an opportunity for cooperation between gun rights factions and gun safety factions. The headline – guns kill as many as cars – at first looks like a slam dunk condemnation of rising…

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Gov. Rick Scott seeks $8.5 million to help process rape kits

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Gov. Rick Scott is seeking $8.5 million to help process a backlog of nearly 11,000 untested rape kits. Scott announced his proposal in a news release Wednesday. The money would be used to upgrade Florida Department of Law Enforcement crime laboratories. It would be spent on lab equipment, DNA database upgrades and crime scene vehicles. Scott’s office said that will reduce the turnaround time for processing evidence, including rape kits. Attorney General Pam Bondi held a news conference in September calling…

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