Washington, D.C. (KXAN) — President Joe Biden signed H.R. 3359 on Wednesday, putting the Homicide Victims’ Families’ Rights Act of 2021 into law.

The bill originated in the U.S. House of Representatives and was originally sponsored by Representative Eric Swalwell (D-California) and co-sponsored by Michael McCaul (R-Texas). The House passed the resolution by a vote of 406-20.

McCaul spoke with KXAN last week about the then-bill and Austin’s tie to it: the infamous Yogurt Shop Killings. He said that the new law will allow family members of the victims to reopen the case.

“I’ve lived in Austin and been a prosecutor most of my career, and seeing what happened in Austin, with that awful case, the yogurt shop case, those girls who were killed and raped and burned,” McCaul said. “The former district attorney came to me looking at some DNA evidence. We had a unique angle with the FBI to test against some other samples. Unfortunately, we didn’t make that connection, but we’re hoping new technologies will come forward where we can find the killers in that case.”

In the Senate, the bill passed by unanimous consent. Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) co-sponsored the bill in the Senate, along with Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Dick Durbin (D-Illinois), Chris Coons (D-Deleware), Jon Ossoff (D-Georgia), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) and John Kennedy (R-Louisiana). 

“This legislation will help ensure federal law enforcement reviews sometimes decades-old cold case files and applies the latest technologies and investigative standards,” said Cornyn in a press release. “This process will help bring grieving families resolution in the midst of tragic circumstances, and I am proud of the bipartisan support for this bill which is now law.”

The new law allows for “designated persons” to file an application with a law enforcement agency and ask for a review of the case. Once received, the agency head will have six months to determine whether or not a case should be reinvestigated. The application and internal process will vary by agency, and each agency will only undertake a single request per case at a time.

The previous investigators in a case will not be allowed to work on a reinvestigation in the same case.

Read the full enrolled bill text below:

“Families were not able to automatically open their case for review. What this bill does, is it gives the victims a right, after three years of being a cold case, to reopen the case for another investigation and a review of the case. That’s something that the victims in the yogurt shop case didn’t have for quite some time until recently,” McCaul said.

The bill states that agencies will have a year to implement policies in compliance with the new law.