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Sean D. Reyes
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AGO Urges Congress to Support VOCA Funding

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – Attorney General Sean D. Reyes joined a letter to leadership of the U.S. House and Senate “urging Congress to provide bridge funding to the Crime Victims Fund.” The letter, spearheaded by the attorneys general from Illinois, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin, was sent by the National Association of Attorneys General.

According to the letter, the “Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (VOCA) established the Crime Victims Fund (VOCA Fund), which is the primary financial source for victim services in all 50 states, five U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.” The VOCA fund “supports the provision of essential direct services and assistance for crime victims and survivors, including medical care, mental health counseling, lost wages, courtroom advocacy, and temporary housing” – among other services. Per the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime, “the 2024 funding for victim services grants will be 41 percent lower nationwide” – $700 million under the FY23 levels. This shortfall would “have devastating consequences for victims of crime.”

The States ask Congress “to authorize adequate short-term funding to prevent severe cuts to the VOCA Fund while it is being replenished.” This legislative action would help save victim service programs from “being forced to close,” which would lead to negative repercussions for victims and survivors served by those programs.

Joining Utah, Illinois, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin, were the States of Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming. The attorneys general from the District of Columbia, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands also co-signed the letter.

Read the letter here.