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Senate Appropriations Committee Approves CJS Spending Bill

On June 5, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved, 30-0, the FY2015 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) spending bill (S. 2437). The Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee approved the bill on June 3. The House approved its version of the CJS spending bill (H.R. 4660) on May 29 (see The Source, 5/30/14).

According to the committee report, the measure would allocate $51.2 billion in discretionary funding for FY2015, a decrease of $398 million below FY2014 and $1 billion over President Obama’s FY2015 request. The House bill would allocate $51.202 billion in discretionary funding for FY2015.

The Department of Justice would receive $27.997 billion. This amount is $260.257 million over FY2014 and $23.282 million over the president’s request.

Program/Agency FY2014 President’s FY2015 Request House FY2015 Senate FY2015
Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women $417 million $422.5 million $425.5 million $430 million
Grants to Combat Violence Against Women (STOP grants) $193 million $193 million $195 million $195 million
Transitional Housing Assistance $24.75 million $25 million $25 million $26 million
Research and Evaluation on Violence Against Women $3.25 million $3 million $3 million $3 million
Sexual Assault Victims Services $27 million $27 million $29.5 million $30 million
Rural Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Enforcement $36 million $33 million $31 million $33 million
Violence on College Campuses $9 million $11 million $11.5 million $12 million
Civil Legal Assistance $37 million $42.5 million $42.5 million $42.5 million
Elder Abuse Grant Program $4.25 million $4.25 million $4.25 million $4.5 million
Family Civil Justice $15 million $16 million $16 million $16 million
Education and Training for Disabled Female Victims $5.75 million $5.75 million $5.75 million $6 million
Research on Violence Against Indian Women $1 million $1 million $1 million $1 million
Indian Country Sexual Assault Clearinghouse $500,000 $500,00 $500,000 $500,000
National Resource Center on Workplace Responses $500,000 $500,000 $500,000 $500,000
Consolidated Youth-Oriented Program $9 million $9 million $10 million $10 million
Office of Justice Programs $1.643 billion $1.557 billion $1.67 billion $1.609billion
Victims of Trafficking Grants $14 million $10 million $45.365 million $15 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 $6 million
DNA Initiative $108 million $100 million $125 million $125 million
Debbie Smith Backlog Grants $117 million Did not specify $117 million $117 million
Sexual Assault Forensic Exam Grants $4 million Did not specify $4 million $4 million
Related Agencies  
Legal Services Corporation $365 million $430 million $350 million $400 million
Commission on Civil Rights $9 million $9.4 million $9 million $9.4 million
Equal Opportunity Employment Commission $364 million $365.53 million $364 million $365 million

*The committee has provided a one-year exemption from the penalties required under the Prison Rape Elimination Act (P.L. 108-79).

The committee encourages the Department of Justice to offer any available law enforcement assistance in response to acts of international terrorism by Boko Haram or other international terrorist organizations and commends INTERPOL for offering immediate assistance following the abduction of nearly 300 Nigerian school girls (p.58).

The committee directs the FBI to report on the use of online classified websites that serve as conduits for sex trafficking and exploitation (p. 76).

The committee’s recommendation requires that the Office of Justice Programs allocate at least $7 million for human trafficking victims’ services for foreign national victims and consult with stakeholder groups in determining how to be allocate the remainder of the Victims of Trafficking funding, prioritizing “evidence-based approaches that ensure trafficking victims’ services are comprehensive, culturally competent, and use a trauma-informed care approach that maximizes safety, trust, and choice for survivors” (p. 93).

The report further states that the “Committee expects the Department to prioritize reducing rape kit backlogs, given that it is the primary reason why the Committee continues to provide robust funding” for the DNA Backlog grants, the Debbie Smith DNA Backlog Reduction Grants, and the Sexual Assault Forensic Exam Grants (p. 109-10).

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