Crime Victims Fund Stabilization Act of 2024

Good afternoon.  I hope you are well and almost ready to start a relaxing weekend.

Earlier this week, I participated in an NCJA webinar that in part focused on the Crime Victims Fund.  Because so many of you or co-workers within your agency also administer VOCA, I wanted to give you a summary of some of the conversation from the webinar as well as to remind you of past attempts to address challenges with the Crime Victims Fund.

Congress has introduced a bill called The Crime Victims Fund Stabilization Act of 2024, (H.R.8061).  This is a bipartisan bill that aims to address the funding issues affecting the Crime Victims Fund (CVF).

Unfortunately, as you all know, the CVF has seen a decline in deposits in recent years, and is currently below budget.  Last year alone, there was a 40% reduction in deposits to the CVF.

Due to declining deposits, the intent of the Crime Victims Fund Stabilization Act is to proactively redirect a portion of the funds collected through the False Claims Act (FCA) into the CVF through FY 2029.  The FCA authorizes the federal government to hold entities liable that knowingly defraud government agencies for up to three times the damages.

As I said, this is a bill that has bipartisan supporters but still needs to receive favorable approval to pass through the House Judiciary Committee.   Having bipartisan support is very important and provides hope that this bill could pass.

This bill comes on the heels of the “VOCA Fix” bill (HR-1652) or the VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of 2021.   Although the receipts authorized by the VOCA Fix bill provided the bulk of the receipts into the CVF last year, it has not resulted in sufficient increases in deposits to the CVF, thus the need for The Crime Victims Stabilization Act of 2024.

Just as a refresher, the “VOCA Fix” bill added a new source of revenue for the Crime Victims Fund and made changes to formula grants supported by the fund.

Specifically, the VOCA fix bill:

  • directed revenues collected from deferred prosecution and non-prosecution agreements to be deposited into the Crime Victims Fund. At that time, such revenues were deposited into the general fund of the Treasury.
  • increased the percentage—from 60% to 75% of state compensation payments to crime victims in the prior fiscal year used to calculate formula grants for state victim compensation programs.
  • directed states to waive the matching requirement for recipients of state victim assistance formula grants during and for one year after a pandemic-related national emergency. It also allowed states to waive the matching requirement pursuant to a policy established by the state.

If I hear anything more about the Crime Victims Fund Stabilization Act, I will share any updates here on your AVA listserv.

Take care,