Wagner sponsors bipartisan Crime Victims Fund Stabilization Act

U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO) led a bipartisan bill that aims to financially stabilize the Crime Victims Fund (CVF), which has seen a drastic funding decline in recent years, according to the Office for Victims of Crime.

“The CVF supports essential programs for those who have fallen victim to violent crime, especially children who are often at their most vulnerable,” Rep. Wagner said. “This bill will help ensure the long-term stability of the CVF and strengthen assistance programs like Children’s Advocacy Centers, domestic violence shelters, and rape crisis centers that have been significantly impacted by recent declines in funding.”

Specifically, the CVF’s end-of-year balance for fiscal year (FY) 2024 was $1.2 billion — a 90 percent decrease since FY 2017, according to the Office for Victims of Crime. 

As a result of the shortfall, the nationwide victim assistance programs supported by the CVF now face a $600 million cut in funding compared to last year that could force these programs to either triage their services or close their doors, says Rep. Wagner.

“The CVF’s instability in recent years has caused these programs to make unthinkable choices about who to help and when,” said the congresswoman. “It’s time Congress stepped up to fix this problem and tell victims we have their backs as they work to recover and find justice.”

Rep. Wagner on April 18 sponsored the Crime Victims Fund Stabilization Act, H.R. 8061, alongside four original cosponsors, including U.S. Reps. Stephanie Bice (R-OK) and Debbie Dingell (D-MI), to redirect unobligated funds collected through the False Claims Act to the CVF through FY 2029.

“This legislation will prevent the devastating impact of depleting deposits into the [CVF], enabling victim services organizations to continue helping those who depend on them to heal and move forward,” Rep. Dingell said. “Congress must ensure that the CVF receives robust, stable funding that equips victim services with adequate staffing and capacity.”

Numerous organizations support H.R. 8061, including the National Children’s Alliance, the National District Attorneys Association, the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, Covenant House International, Jewish Women International, the YWCA USA, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the National Organization for Victim Advocacy, and many others.

H.R. 8061 has been referred for consideration to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.