Assemblyman Mike Gatto

SACRAMENTO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — Today, Calif. Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) introduced legislation to strengthen law enforcement’s ability to investigate cold cases in which DNA evidence is present. The legislation, AB 2440, provides needed funding for law enforcement agencies that will be used to help link stored DNA samples to biological evidence from cold cases. DNA is most often used to solve rapes and murders.

“State mandates have put pressure on law enforcement to expedite criminal investigations in which DNA has been collected,” said Gatto. “However, massive budget and personnel cuts have strained law enforcement agencies, and criminals who might otherwise be identified through DNA hits remain free to commit additional crimes.”

Technological advances have sparked an increase in the amount of DNA evidence that can be identified and processed, and this has the potential to solve cold cases. However, there isn’t sufficient local funding to support follow-up investigations for these serious crimes.

AB 2440 will add an additional penalty of $4 to every $10 of every criminal fine, excluding traffic infractions. These new funds will also be available to help law enforcement investigate cases in which a DNA match has resulted in the identification of a suspect or a match to DNA profile from another crime scene.

“No cold case in California with clear DNA evidence should go unsolved solely because of a lack of funding. AB 2440 will and help bring closure to victims, and take criminals off the street,” said Gatto.

Mike Gatto is the Chairman of the Utilities & Commerce Committee and the longest-serving current member of the State Assembly. He represents California’s 43rd Assembly District, which includes Los Angeles, Glendale and Burbank.