Michelle Southern reporting.
A bill that would use funds from unclaimed gambling winnings to pay for rape victims forensic medical exams clears House appropriations. New Orleans Representative Helena Moreno says under her measure, money from expired winning tickets from casinos and race tracks would go into the crime victim's reparations fund.
Alexandra Stillson is a rape victim.
"This huge stack is my rape bills," said Stillson. "This is from my forensic exam, my ambulance ride, for all the medications I had to take to make sure I didn't get HIV."
Stillson says she was raped by two men who broke into her home while she was watching television. She feels like she relives the traumatic experience every time another bill comes in the mail.
Wade Duty, of the Louisiana Casino Association, says while they don't oppose the bill on its merits, they don't approve of the funding mechanism. He says winning money is the property of the gaming establishment until the player cashes the ticket.
"If the unclaimed tickets were truly the players property we would not pay taxes on it, we don't pay taxes on other people's property," said Duty.
Moreno says casinos keep about $1.2 million dollars in gambling money that was never claimed by the player.
The bill passed without opposition and now heads to the House floor.