RALEIGH, N.C. — A legislative committee has backed draft legislation to set up a tracking system so victims can follow their sexual assault kits and know when they’ve been tested.

An audit released in February showed North Carolina has a backlog of more than 15,000 untested sexual assault kits. Authorities with the State Bureau of Investigation say a tracking system will help ensure the state doesn’t develop such a backlog in the future.

The legislation also sets up a committee to recommend how to handle the backlog, such as which cases get priority for testing. SBI officials estimate it would cost more than $10 million to test all of those kits, and the testing would have to be outsourced.

A joint legislative committee recommended the draft legislation Thursday.

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