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Appropriations Committee Approves CJS Spending Bill

On May 8, the House Appropriations Committee approved, by voice vote, the FY2015 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies spending bill, as amended (as-yet-unnumbered). The Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee approved the measure on April 30 (see The Source, 5/2/14).

According to the committee report, the bill would allocate $51.202 billion in discretionary funding in FY2015. This amount is $398 million below FY2014 and $1.028 billion over President Obama’s FY2015 request.

The Department of Justice would receive $27.737 billion in FY2015. This amount is $383 million over FY2014 and $136 million over the president’s request.

The chart below summarizes funding levels for several programs within the bill that are important to women and their families.

Program/Agency FY2014 President’s FY2015 Request FY2015
Department of Justice
Office on Violence Against Women $417 million $422.5 million $425.5 million
Grants to Combat Violence Against Women (STOP Grants) $193 million $193 million $195 million
Transitional Housing Assistance $24.75 million $25 million $25 million
Research and Evaluation on Violence Against Women $3.25 million $3 million $3 million
Sexual Assault Victims Services $27 million $27 million $29.5 million
Rural Domestic Violence & Child Abuse Enforcement $36 million $33 million $31 million
Violence on College Campuses $9 million $11 million $11.5 million
Civil Legal Assistance $37 million $42.5 million $42.5 million
Elder Abuse Grant Program $4.25 million $4.25 million $4.25 million
Family Civil Justice $15 million $16 million $16 million
Education and Training for Disabled Female Victims $5.75 million $5.75 million $5.75 million
Research on Violence Against Indian Women $1 million $1 million $1 million
Indian Country Sexual Assault Clearinghouse $500,000 $500,000 $500,000
National Resource Center on Workplace Responses $500,000 $500,000 $500,000
Consolidated Youth-Oriented Program $9 million $9 million $10 million
Office of Justice Programs $1.643 billion $1.557 billion $1.67 billion
Victims of Trafficking Grants $14 million $10 million $45.365 million
Prison Rape Prevention and Prosecution $12.5 million $10.5 million $15 million
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) $5 million $4 million $6 million
DNA Initiative $108 million $100 million $125 million
Debbie Smith Backlog Grants $117 million Did not specify $117 million
Sexual Assault Forensic Exam Grants $4 million Did not specify $4 million
Related Agencies
Legal Services Corporation $365 million $430 million $350 million
Commission on Civil Rights $9 million $9.4 million $9 million
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission $364 million $365.53 million $364 million

 

In an effort to prevent the transportation of minors overseas for the purpose of female genital mutilation (FGM), the committee report directs the attorney general to develop a strategy to alert communities with “a history of [FGM]” that such actions are illegal (p. 41).

The committee directs the attorney general to report to Congress on all anti-trafficking activities and host a national conference on sex trafficking (p. 40). The committee placed significant emphasis on supporting or enhancing programs aimed at reducing and eliminating human trafficking, supporting the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Innocence Lost Initiative and Violent Crimes Against Children program (p. 48).

The bill would require the Bureau of Justice Statistics to include honor violence in the National Crime Victimization Survey (p. 56).

Expressing its concern with the “ongoing sexual assault kit backlog in jurisdictions across the country,” the committee would allocate $36 million that would “be used only for efforts that directly reduce the backlog of sexual assault kits at law enforcement agencies” (p. 59).

Grants made to support victims of trafficking would receive a substantial increase in FY2015 (p.59). The committee explains that “[t]hese funds may also be used to develop, expand, and strengthen assistance programs for child victims of sex and labor trafficking.” The committee also directs the Justice Department to support the “victim-centered approach to recognizing and responding to human trafficking, especially across partnerships between federal and local law enforcement agencies, and victims service providers.”

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