The Louisiana House advanced legislation Wednesday that stops rape victims from receiving hefty medical bills for their treatments after being attacked.
The House voted 95-0 for the measure which also sets up standards and procedures for the forensic medical examination and treatment of victims.
The measure now moves to the Senate for debate.
Under House Bill 835, hospitals would send bills directly to the Crime Victims Reparations Board for payment. The victims could later seek help from the board in covering addition expenses such as for counseling or lost work days.
A companion measure would direct some unclaimed gambling money to cover payments made to help the victims.
HB835 sponsor, Rep. Helena Moreno, D-New Orleans, has said the legislation’s passage would help Louisiana go from one of the worst states in helping victims of sexual assault to one in the top tier.