A Senate committee has approved a proposal to extend the 20-year statute of limitations for rape and sexual battery.
The bill provides an additional five years for prosecution from the time a potential suspect is identified through DNA testing.
The legislation comes as the Attorney General’s Office continues to plow through a backlog of untested rape kits, with numerous cases of DNA matches in a criminal database.
The Senate Criminal Justice Committee voted 9-1 in the bill’s favor Wednesday, with a vote by the full Senate expected later in the day.
The House Judiciary Committee put off a vote Tuesday as opponents told lawmakers they believe the bill is unconstitutional because it creates two classes of offenders, those whose cases involve DNA evidence, and those whose cases don’t.