July 11, 2006

Crime Victims Fund Preserved In Senate Funding Bill

Crapo successful in push to prevent rescission of VOCA dollars

Washington, DC â?? A proposed rescission of the Crime Victims Fund in the Administrationâ??s Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 budget request was defeated thanks in part to the leadership of Idaho Senator Mike Crapo and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont). The proposal was stripped from the Administrationâ??s request for the Commerce, Justice and Science (CJS) Appropriations bill sent to the full Senate Appropriations Committee today. Crapo led the opposition to the proposed rescission which would have eliminated the $1.2 billion reserve currently in the fund, moving it to the General Fund. In April, Crapo and Leahy led the efforts of two dozen Senators urging Members of the CJS Appropriations Subcommittee not to include the rescission in the funding measure. The Crime Victims Fund provides compensation and assistance to victims of crime nationwide.â??The Crime Victims Fund, created as part of the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), is not taxpayer dollars but money collected from fines and forfeitures in federal criminal court,â?? said Crapo. â??This is not money that was meant to be shifted to the General Fund; it is money intended to help and support the needs of victims of crime. Iâ??m pleased that the Appropriations Subcommittee decided in favor of crime victims in Idaho and nationwide.â??The Crime Victims Fund, administered by U.S. Department of Justice, supports over 40 crime victimsâ?? programs in Idaho. In 2005, the Fund distributed over $2 million to Idaho crime victims in the form of either direct compensation or through victimsâ?? assistance programs. Crapo, a long-time advocate for victims of family violence and recognized by national family advocacy groups, led an effort opposing a similar rescission last year. The rescission was left out of the final FY 2006 Department of Justice Appropriations bill when it was signed into law.FY 2007 appropriations for the Departments of Commerce, Justice and NASA, NIST, the Small Business Administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission and other related agencies will be considered by the full Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday, July 13. ###