BOISE - Idaho's governor has signed a rape kit retention measure into law that will create a statewide standard on how long physical evidence in sexual assault investigations should be preserved.
Republican Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter approved the measure while approving nearly 50 other bills on Thursday. The new law will go into effect July 1, which is the beginning of a new fiscal year.
According to the proposal, rape kits involved in felony or anonymous cases would have to be retained for 55 years or until the sentence is completed. For death penalty cases, rape kits would have to be retained until the sentence has been carried out.
Idaho was one of the few states that did not have guidelines on how long rape kits should be retained.
Otter also signed a proposal funneling $52 million in emergency funds to repair severely damaged roads and bridges from this year's harsh winter. That money included a special clause to allow agencies to use those dollars immediately.
© 2017 Associated Press