June 28, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Harpers Ferry, WV – Governor Justice recently signed HB 2980 into law, which creates the State Police Forensic Laboratory Fund and provides consistent money for the newly created fund to process the back log of forensic evidence in the state. HB 2980 was introduced and championed by Delegate Riley Moore during this year’s legislative session. Additionally, the bill provides the much needed resources to our circuit courts in the state to fund the processing of multiple defendants in civil actions law suits, which is currently being paid out of county coffers for such activities.
Explaining HB 2980, Delegate Moore stated, “When I ran for the House of Delegates I talked a lot about fighting for Jefferson County’s fair share and this bill delivers on that promise. First, my bill creates the State Police Forensic Laboratory Fund. This legislation seeks to address a back log of DNA evidence that has not been processed for crimes, many times violent in nature, that occurred in our community. HB 2980 will give our State Police the much needed resources to process those cases and give our citizens much needed closure and justice. Additionally, this bill provides additional revenue for our county by creating a fee for multiple defendants in a civil action suit, which is very time consuming for the Circuit Clerks office to process and track, and will help lessen the burden on the tax payers of Jefferson County”.
Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Matt Harvey, elaborated on the benefit of the State Police Forensic Laboratory Fund stating, “[t]here are over 4,500 statewide lab submissions waiting to be tested. That’s 4,500 cases that are delayed because of a lack of funding. It’s not fair to victims of crimes, the court systems, or our law enforcement officers to have cases put on a shelf for an
indefinite amount of time. The State Police have a great lab, but it has not been adequately funded to keep up with the growing case load that will only grow with the heroin epidemic.”
Laura Storm, Jefferson County Circuit Clerk, speaking on how Moore’s bill will generate much needed revenue for Jefferson County explained, “processing cases with multiple defendants takes many hours of work and since we are paid out of the county budget, this bill will help to generate revenue to put that money back into our county and funding the State Police Forensic Laboratory. I was proud to work with Delegate Moore on this bill and I appreciate all of the long hours and hard work he put into making this happen.”