FY 2016 VOCA Fundingwhich 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:
- NAVAA Statement on the $1.5 billion Crime Victims Fund recsission
- NAVAA/NCVC Washington Post letter to the editor
- Congressional Crime Victims Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Ted Poe and Jim Costa letter to House Appropriators, Nov. 17, 2015
- Congressional Crime Victims Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Ted Poe and Jim Costa letter to House Leadership, Oct. 27, 2015
- National Center for Victims of Crime
- National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women (NTF) Letter to House Leadership
- National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association
- Pennsylvania House of Representatives' Democratic Leadership
- National Victim Advocacy Organizations Letter to Appropriators [House][Senate]
- National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women (NTF) alert
- What VOCA Funds Mean to Minnesotans
- National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC), "The Need for VOCA Assistance Funding."
- Senator John Cornyn letter to Appropriations Subcommittee
- Senator Pat Toomey - Philly.com opinion
- "Perry Joins Effort to End Raid on Crime Victims Fund, " Rep. Scott Perry press release
- Letter to Appropriators from WINGS Foundation
- Letter from Sens. Grassley, Sessions and Cornyn to Senate Appropriators
- "Budget Pact Raids Victims Fund, Wall Street Journal
- "Organizations providing care for crime victims facing potential funding cut" Lubbock, TX TV News Report
- "VOCA Fund Cuts Could Negatively Impact Local Organizations," Springfield Mo TV News Report
- "Don't Let the Bipartisan Budget Act Erase Progress Against Domestic Violence," Katie Ray-Jones, Huffington Post
- "Don't deprive crime victims of the federal dollars they deserve," Diane Moyer, Washington Post letter to the editor
- "Advocates condemn move of crime victim monies," Youngstown (OH) Vindicator
- "Advocates worry about possilbe cut to crime victim funding," Baltimore Sun
- "Programs Helping Victims of Crime May See Cut in Funding," Charlottesville Newsplex
- "Family Crisis Center faces funding threat," Rexburg, ID Standard Journal
- "Domestic Violence Hotline in Danger," Payson, AZ Roundup
- "Budget deal's dip into federal fund concerns Missouri domestic violence victims' advocates, Missourinet
- "Federal Crime Victims' Fund suffers in congressional budget battle," KSHB, Kansas City, MO
- "Crime Victims Fund cuts could affect local nonprofits," Wilkes-Barre Times Leader
- "The Federal Fight to Save Victim Services Funding," broadly.vice.com
- "Domestic violence center facing federal cuts," Tucson News Now
- "Congress Guts Crime Victims Fund," Sojourners
- "Proposed Fund Cut Worries Area CASA Program," The Dispatch (MD)
- "Cuts could hurt WISE; Federal budget deal takes money from Crime Victims Fund," The Pioneer, Big Rapids, MI
- "Federal funding cuts could affect local agencies that deal with crime vicitms," WGEM.com, Quincy, IL
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.