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Senate Appropriations Committee keeps Crime Victims Fund intact

Washington , DC - In a show of support for victims of crime today, the Senate Appropriations Committee refused to institute a proposed rescission of the Crime Victims Fund in the Fiscal Year appropriations for the Departments of Commerce, Justice and Science according to Idaho Senator Mike Crapo.   Crapo, who, for three years, has led efforts in the Senate to keep the Fund out of the General Treasury, applauded the members of the Appropriations Committee for their commitment to victims of crime.  


"I am extremely pleased that the Senate Appropriations Committee closed the loop in the Senate effort to preserve critical funding for victims of crime that my colleagues and I began on the Budget Committee earlier this year," said Crapo.   "I'm proud to be part of an effort to keep non-taxpayer dollars out of the general fund and used where Congress intended when it passed the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) over 20 years ago.   The Crime Victims Fund provides direct compensation to crime victims and helps fund dozens of programs in Idaho that help victims of crime recover.   VOCA funds account for about $2 million annually of Idaho's assistance to crime victims.   The money, collected from fines and forfeitures in federal court, is not taxpayer dollars, and neither the Administration nor Congress has the right to take that money away from those rightfully entitled to it by law-those victimized by criminals."


The Victims of Crime Act was enacted in 1984.   It set up a fund into which fines and forfeitures assessed in federal court would be deposited one year and distributed to victims of crime the next, in the form of direct compensation and through grants for programs that provide services to crime victims.   The grants for programs can be issued for one to four years, depending on the discretion of the state agency responsible for the granting.   For the past three years, the Administration has proposed a rescission of the Fund, effectively moving it to the General Fund and making future fund distributions subject to appropriations.