Florida is taking the first steps toward cutting its backlog of thousands of untested rape kits.
New legislation signed Wednesday by Gov. Rick Scott requires law enforcement agencies to submit rape kits for processing within 30 days. Then, crime labs have 120 days to complete an analysis of the kits.
In addition, the six state labs run by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement — in Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Orlando, Pensacola, Tallahassee and Tampa — will get $2.3 million this summer to begin processing old sexual assault kits.
"It will take us about three years to complete backlog testing at state labs, and that's with outsourcing the work, too," said agency spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger.