FY 2016 VOCA Funding

which increases the cap on the Crime Victims Fund from $2.361 billion in FY 15 to $3.042 billion in FY 16. Included in this amount is a transfer of $379 million to the Office on Violence Against Women for VAWA programs plus $10 million to the Office of the Inspector General for "oversight and auditing purposes." Of the $2.65 billion remaining for programs authorized under the VOCA statute, it is estimated that $2.26 billion will be available for state VOCA victim assistance grants. That will be an increase of $302.6 million (15.5%) over the FY 15 state grant..

The federal Bipartisan Budget Agreement, which was enacted in November, permanently removed $1.5 billion from the Crime Victims to pay for other federal programs.

Letters, statements and articles supporting VOCA funding:

June 11 - The Senate Appropriations Committee adopted the FY 16 Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations bill. Under the Senate Committee's bill, the FY 16 cap would be set at $2.602 billion. However, for the first time ever, a congressional appropriations committee is proposing using the Crime Victims Fund for a number of programs that are not authorized under the VOCA statute:

  • A total of $245 million is transferred to OVW:
    • $215 million for STOP;
    • $30 million for transitional housing.
  • The following $134 million is made available to the OJP Assistant Attorney General:
    • $50 million for victims of trafficking;
    • $16 million for an initiative relating to children exposed to violence;
    • $12 million for Court-appointed Special Advocate (CASA) programs;
    • $15 million for "supplemental victims' services and other victim-related programs and initiatives, including research and statistics, and for tribal assistance for victims of violence;"
    • $20 million for Victims of Child Abuse Act programs (i.e. child advocacy centers);
    • $3 million for child abuse training programs for judicial personnel and practitioners, authorized under the Victims of Child Abuse Act;
    • $18 million for "community-based violence prevention initiatives, including for public health approaches to reducing shootings and violence."
  • To the Director of the Office for Victims of Crime, $52 million "for assistance to Indian tribes only for supplementing victims' services and other victim-related programs and initiatives;"
  • To the DOJ Inspector General, $10 million for oversight and auditing purposes.

These non-VOCA authorized programs total $441 million which would leave $2.161 billion for the core, VOCA-authorized programs. Assuming the funding levels for the other VOCA programs remain approximately the same as in FY 15, it is estimated that, under the Senate Committee's proposal, State VOCA assistance formula grants would be reduced by about 10% from the FY 15 grants.

The bill must still be taken to the floor of the Senate where it could be subject to amendments and then reconciled with the House version. The House version sets the cap at $2.7 billion without any non-VOCA authorized programs.

The Administration’s FY 2016 budget request asks for a VOCA cap of $1 billion, of which $25 million would be used for Vision 21, $20 million for tribal assistance, $10 million for domestic trafficking victims grants and $77 million for Office of Justice Programs management and administrative costs. It is estimated that, based on the Administration's budget request, FY 16 formula grants for state victim assistance programs would be reduced by approximately 70 percent from the estimated FY 15 grants. The proposal also calls for up to 3 percent to be made available to the National Institute of Justice and the Bureau of Justice Statistics for research, evaluation or statistical purposes related to crime victims and related programs.