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Relating to the emergency services and care provided to victims of
sexual assault and other sex offenses and to the processes
associated with preserving and analyzing the evidence of those
Estimated Two-year Net Impact to General Revenue Related Funds for HB 2706, As Engrossed: an impact of $0 through the biennium ending August 31, 2023. The bill would have a negative two-year impact of ($8,759,226) to General Revenue Dedicated Compensation to Victims of Crime Account No 0469. Balances and revenues to Account 469 are estimated to be insufficient to cover costs to implement the bill. Additionally, Article 56B.454 of the Code of Criminal Procedures states that General Revenue may not be used for compensation to victims of crime payments.
HB 2706 would require a law enforcement agency to request a forensic medical examination of the victim if a sexual assault is reported with 120 hours instead of 96. If the victim is a minor, a forensic medical examination would be required. It also outlines what information shall be included on the report of sexual assault to the department. Evidence collected during a forensic examination may not be used to investigate or prosecute a misdemeanor offense alleged to have been committed by the victim from whom the evidence was collected.
Additionally, the bill stipulates that providers are entitled upon application to the attorney general for fees related to forensic examinations and evidence collection kits provided certain conditions are met.
Finally, HB 2706 would require the Statewide Electronic Tracking System to include certain information relating to reports of sexual assault. The bill also qualifies which programs may be designated as (SAFE) programs offering recovery from and prevention for sexual assault.
Texas Action is neutral on HB 2706. Despite the large fiscal note for the reimbursement of forensic exams and evidence collection kits, these exams and kits are necessary components for the proper investigation of sexual assault.