HJR 48: Urging the United States Congress to pass the Crime Victims Fund Preservation Act.

00 HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 48 01 Urging the United States Congress to pass the Crime Victims Fund Preservation Act. 02 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 03 WHEREAS the Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (42 U.S.C. 10601 - 10608) established 04 the Crime Victims Fund, which is one the main sources of money and support for crime 05 victims and crime victims' services in the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto 06 Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, and territories of the United States; and 07 WHEREAS the Crime Victims Fund provides critical funding for formula grants to 08 states for victim compensation and victim assistance and for federal discretionary grants, in 09 addition to earmarks for federal victim assistance in the United States Attorneys' Offices and 10 the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and for the Victim Notification System and the Children's 11 Justice Act grant programs; and 12 WHEREAS state compensation programs pay directly for medical care, counseling, 13 and lost wages for victims of domestic violence, child abuse, and rape, and for funerals for 14 victims of homicide; and 15 WHEREAS state victim assistance programs provide critical, often life-saving 16 services, including crisis intervention and emergency shelter, and counseling, child care, and

01 emergency transportation services; and 02 WHEREAS the Office for Victims of Crime awards discretionary grants for 03 demonstration projects, training, and technical assistance to expand and improve the delivery 04 of services to crime victims and to support services to victims of federal offenses; and 05 WHEREAS funds placed in the Crime Victims Fund are derived primarily from 06 criminal fines and other penalties paid by offenders of federal crimes, and the fund does not 07 rely on tax revenue; and 08 WHEREAS states may use compensation grants and victim assistance grants over a 09 four-year period, thus enabling them to plan and manage the distribution of funds over time; 10 and 11 WHEREAS, in 2000, the United States Congress began capping annual obligations 12 from the Crime Victims Fund, which has limited the amount of funding that would otherwise 13 have been available to support victims' services; and 14 WHEREAS, in the past 11 years, nearly $9,000,000,000 has been deposited into the 15 Crime Victims Fund while only $6,000,000,000 has been obligated, resulting in an 16 accumulated balance of nearly $3,000,000,000 in the fund as of the beginning of 2010; and 17 WHEREAS the United States Congress has repeatedly stated that the purpose of the 18 cap is to ensure that a stable level of funding will remain available for crime victims' services 19 in future years; and 20 WHEREAS crime victims' services in all states and jurisdictions are facing severe 21 budgetary shortfalls because of cutbacks in other victim assistance programs and decreases in 22 private donations, while the need for services continues to increase; and 23 WHEREAS S. 1340 and H.R. 3402, the Crime Victims Fund Preservation Act of 24 2009, introduced in the United States Senate by Senator Patrick Leahy and introduced in the 25 United States House of Representatives by Representative Ted Poe, would establish 26 increasing minimum caps on annual Crime Victims Fund obligations through the year 2014, 27 significantly increasing the amount in the fund available for state victim assistance grants and 28 for discretionary grants awarded by the Office for the Victims of Crime, without jeopardizing 29 the long-term sustainability of the fund; 30 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature fully supports the purposes of 31 S. 1340 and H.R. 3402, the Crime Victims Fund Preservation Act, and urges the United States

01 Congress to enact the Crime Victims Fund Preservation Act. 02 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Vice- 03 President of the United States and President of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Harry Reid, 04 Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader of the 05 U.S. Senate; the Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives; the 06 Honorable Steny H. Hoyer, Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives; the 07 Honorable John Boehner, Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives; the 08 Honorable Patrick Leahy, U.S. Senator; the Honorable Ted Poe, U.S. Representative; and the 09 Honorable Lisa Murkowski and the Honorable Mark Begich, U.S. Senators, and the 10 Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress.