October 21, 2005

Crapo Applauds Retention Of Crime Victims Fund

Washington, DC â?? Idaho Senator Mike Crapo applauded the efforts of the Senate Judiciary Committee in retaining the Crime Victims Fund in the Spending Reduction Reconciliation bill.â??The Crime Victims Fund represents a critical component of funding for victims services across the nation, one that comes directly from the perpetrators themselves,â?? said Crapo. â??This is not taxpayer money and government has no right to move it into the general fund. In 1984, Congress decided that fines and forfeitures collected from federal criminals should rightly be given back to victims, and this is why it established the Fund. Congress is keeping its word to victims of crime across our nation.â??The Crime Victims Fund was created under the 1984 Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), to place fines and forfeitures collected in federal court in a fund for victimsâ?? services. In its Fiscal Year (FY) 2006 budget request for the Department of Justice, the Administration proposed a rescission of this fund. Earlier this year, the Senate Budget Committee on which Senator Crapo serves, voted to remove the proposed rescission. In May, Senator Crapo and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-CT) co-authored a letter to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science signed by 27 other Senators, urging the Committee to retain the Crime Victims Fund in the U.S. Department of Justice FY 2006 Appropriations. The Crime Victims Fund provides money to more than 40 agencies and organizations in Idaho and more than 5,300 agencies nationwide that provide critical services annually to nearly four million victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, drunk driving, elder abuse and all other crimes. These agencies utilize grants to provide counseling, support during the criminal justice process, emergency shelter as well as financial assistance for medical care, mental health counseling, lost wages and support, and funeral and burial costs.Letters of support for removing the proposed rescission have come from all fifty states attorneys general, governors and national, state and local law enforcement and victims services agencies and organizations. The Senate Budget Committee will hold a mark-up next week on this and the other budget reconciliation bills in process. It will vote on one final deficit reduction bill to move to the Senate floor for further consideration. # # #FOR INTERESTED MEDIA: A radio actuality is available by calling 1-800-545-1267. Press 327 at any time during or after the greeting and instructions. You can also access the actuality through the Internet at www.senate.gov/src/radio/crapo.