NC Legislation

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the articles contained in the Academy News are those of the identified authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Academy.

Source: Victor W. Weedn, MD, JD, AAFS President

Coverdell legislation will require both re-authorization and appropriation. As has become routine, the President’s budget did not include Coverdell funding. Coverdell is, of course, an important funding tool for our community. Again, we need Congress to restore funding and we ask you to contact your representatives in Congress to make this happen.

DNA grant funding is also being decremented in the administration’s budget. Again, we ask you to contact your Senators and Congress representative(s) for support of funding in this area.

The proposed Leahy-Cornyn legislation, introduced last session, will have to be reintroduced since it is a new session of Congress. The Republicans are now in control of the Senate as well as the House and this will have some effect on the introduction of the bill. The new version is anticipated to incorporate the NIST OSAC under a DOJ Office of Forensic Science. Republicans and Democrats in both the Senate and the House are aware of this legislative effort and the chances of this legislation being enacted continue to increase.

Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) has introduced legislation to allow Rapid DNA testing to be performed by law enforcement officials and to search the CODIS database from such testing at Booking stations. I believe that any such testing be considered investigatory and that probative test results which are brought to court should be conducted from accredited forensic science laboratories.