"The Crime Victims Fund Preservation Act of 2009"
IMPORTANT VOCA NEWS
The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved S. 1340, the Crime Victims Fund Preservation Act, at its Thursday, October 22, 2009 business meeting.
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Two bills of critical importance to programs that rely on VOCA victim assistance funds have been introduced to dramatically increase the availability of the Crime Victims Fund. S. 1340, "The Crime Victims Fund Preservation Act of 2009," was introduced by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Mike Crapo (R-ID. Its companion bill, H.R. 3402 was introduced in the House by Reps. Ted Poe ((R-TX) and Jim Costa (D-CA), co-chairs of the Congressional Crime Victim Rights Caucus. These bills would ensure a continued and substantial increase the the amount of Crime Victims Fund to be made available to support critical crime victim services. The Crime Victims Fund Preservation Act would establish a minimum VOCA cap through 2014 and still leave a substantial balance in the Fund to ensure ongoing stable services.
Both bills specify the minimum amount of the Crime Victims Fund to be allocated in FY 2010 at $705 million and then increases the cap by 23 percent for each of the next four years, as follows:
According to Sen. Leahy, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, "This bill will support the intent of Congress to use revenues generated from criminal fines and forfeitures to provide direct services and compensation to crime victims,”
Sen. Crapo said, "We expect a steady increase over the next five years in this fund and I will aggressively work to make sure these resources go to the people for which they were originally intended. Unfortunately, victims of violence nationwide remain significantly underserved. Congress needs to honor the commitment it made to these victims 25 years ago.”
Cosponsors. It is very important to demonstrate broad, bi-partisan support for S. 1340/HR 3402 and the need for additional crime victim assistance resources by encouraging Senators and Representatives to sign on as cosponsors of these bills. To date, the following additional members have agreed to cosponsor the bills in addition to the original sponsors: