Restore Funding to the Victim of Crime Act (VOCA) Program
Newscoma reports that the Senate Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations committee is meeting this week and is expected to consider the 2009 VOCA funding on Thursday. In brief, this funding goes to programs that assist victims of violence (including abused women and children), and is generated by the collection of Federal fines (rather than taxes). A 2008 cap was set on the VOCA funding that is considerably lower than is normal, expected, or needed. A lack of funding from this program would have a direct and negative effect on local services such as shelters and victim advocacy.
Quite a bit of information on the program and the current funding problem is available here – the “Backgrounder” document [PDF] is particularly helpful. Further information is available at the website of the National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators.
Newscoma is urging Tennesseans to contact Sen. Lamar Alexander, and provides the letter she sent (she also recommends calling offices as the discussion is happening soon). As Aunt B put it more succinctly, Go directly to Newscoma and do what she says.