House backs bill requiring casinos to pay for rape exams
BATON ROUGE- The Louisiana House has agreed to steer an estimated $1.6 million in unclaimed gambling money annually to pay for rape victims' medical exams.
With a 93-0 vote Monday, the bill by Rep. Helena Moreno, a Democrat from New Orleans, was sent to the Senate for consideration.
The casino industry opposes the proposal, which is being pushed by Gov. Bobby Jindal.
Currently, many hospitals in Louisiana bill rape victims directly for medical exams even though the practice violates the federal Violence Against Women Act.
Moreno has a separate bill to prohibit hospitals from billing women or their insurance companies for the exams. The proposal that won approval Monday is the companion bill to reimburse hospitals for the exams through a state crime victims' board.