January 22, 2010

Crime Victim Needs Noted In Senate Resolution

Crapo, Klobuchar mark 25th Anniversary of the Victims of Crime Act

Washington, D.C. - Federal funding priorities and efforts to protect victims of crime are being recognized by Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota). The U.S. Senate passed the Crapo-Klobuchar legislation, S. Res. 391, by Unanimous Consent.

The Crapo-Klobuchar legislation recognizes the 25th Anniversary of the Victims of Crime Act of 1984, known as the VOCA Act. The VOCA legislation established the Crime Victims Fund, a funding base paid by perpetrators of crimes prosecuted through federal courts. The funds are then distributed through thousands of agencies that assist victims of crime. Services such as crisis intervention, counseling, legal advocacy, shelters and other needs are paid for in part using VOCA funding.

"The recognition by the full Senate of this issue is critical because it comes as we seek to protect these VOCA dollars from being used for needs outside of the victims of crime," Crapo said. "There are those who would like to borrow from or take these dollars for general budget purposes. I will do all that I can to keep that from happening, and credit the partnerships with Idaho leaders against domestic violence and child abuse, and my fellow Senators who have assisted in the effort to protect these designated funds."

Crapo has worked with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) on permanent protections to the VOCA fund. The Crime Victims Protection Act was passed by the Judiciary Committee in October and is now under consideration for a vote by the full Senate.

"Since the Victims of Crime Act was established in 1984, more than $12 billion offender-generated, non-taxpayer funds have been deposited into the Crime Victims Fund, solely to help victims of crime," Crapo noted. "We must continue to protect this critical resource for crime victims. The Senate's unanimous approval of this Senate resolution is yet another positive step toward that goal."