May 04, 2005


Wants to halt removal of $1.2 billion from Crime Victims Fund

Washington, DC â?? Idaho Senator Mike Crapo wants to keep a billion-dollar fund for Crime Victims untouched by other federal government programs. The estimated $1.2 billion in the Crime Victims Fund is used in part in a federal program to assist victims of domestic violence.Crapo has alerted his Senate colleagues to a proposal to remove the money from its designated purpose and has co-authored a letter seeking Senate support to keep the money where it is. Crapo will discuss the fund on Thursday at the renovation ceremony at the Nampaâ??s Family Justice Center. Crapo and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) have written fellow Senators because the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has proposed removing money in the Crime Victims Fund so it can be used as general revenue. Crapo argues that Congress in 2000 capped the fund for the very purpose of stabilizing support for domestic violence victims, and that the present recommendations by OMB go too far.â??More than 4400 agencies, including many women and children in Idaho, benefit from this fund authorized under the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA),â?? Crapo said. â??This money comes into federal coffers from those who commit domestic violence and other crimes and from forfeitures and other assessments. With federal dollars at a premium, I strongly reject efforts to take private dollars away from such a necessary program and I am convinced the Senate can head off this effort.â?? â??When we had Senator Crapo speak before the National Network to End Domestic Violence convention in Washington, DC, he made a commitment before all of the advocates in attendance that he would stand up and fight to retain our VOCA dollars,â?? said Sue Fellen, Executive Director for the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence. â??He has kept his word and we support his leadership on a national level regarding VOCA. This funding is critical for Idaho, our shelters and our programs.â??â??The absence of VOCA will result in a permanent failure of society to assist victims in recovering from the traumatic effects of crime and the resulting injustice,â?? said Diane Blumel, Executive Director for the Idaho Coalition on Domestic Violence and Victims Assistance. â??We applaud and commend the accomplishments of Congressional leadership, particularly Senator Crapo, in supporting victims of crime and opposing this rescission.â??The Crapo-Leahy letter will be sent to Senate appropriators seeking their support. As of last count, 29 Senators had signed the letter seeking to keep the VOCA funding where it is. Click here to view the letter [.pdf, 180 kb]To directly link to this news release, please use the following address: