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Senate Passes Commerce-Justice-State Spending Bill

Given the events of this week, the Senate quickly debated and approved the FY2002 Commerce, Justice, State, and Related Agencies appropriations bill (S. 1215). On September 13, the Senate unanimously approved the bill by a vote of 97-0. The House passed its version of the bill (H.R. 2500) on July 18 (see The Source, 7/20/01).

Like the House-passed bill, the Senate measure would provide Violence Against Women Act programs with a $103 million increase to $391 million in FY2002, the same amount requested by the President. Of that amount, the Senate bill would appropriate the money as follows:

  • $5.2 million for the National Institute of Justice to research violence against women;
  • $10 million for a new Safe Start program;
  • $1 million for the Bureau of Justice Statistics to research domestic violence case processing;
  • $69.425 million for grants to encourage arrests;
  • $39.945 million for rural domestic violence initiatives;
  • $40 million for legal assistance; o $10 million for the prevention of violence on college campuses;
  • $5 million for elder abuse and neglect;
  • $15 million for a Safe Haven program;
  • $7.5 million for education and training to assisted disabled female victims of violence;
  • $3 million for expansion of a national stalker database;
  • $4.989 million for training programs;
  • $11.975 million for Court Appointed Special Advocates;
  • $2.296 for judicial personnel training; and
  • $998,000 for grants for televised testimony.

The Senate-passed bill would level fund the missing children program at $22.997 million, the same provided by the House. Under the Senate bill, Boys and Girls Clubs would receive a $20 million increase to $80 million. The House bill provided $60 million.

Juvenile justice programs would receive $328.5 million under the Senate bill, while the House measure level-funded the programs at $297.94 million. Both measures would level fund the Victims of Child Abuse Act at $8.481 million.

Both bills also would provide a $216,000 increase to $9.096 million for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. The Legal Services Corporation and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission would be level-funded at $330 million and $310 million, respectively, under both the House and Senate bills.

Several programs important to women-owned businesses would be level-funded under both bills: Women’s Business Centers, operated through the Small Business Administration, would receive $12 million; the National Women’s Business Council would receive $750,000; and the Survey of Women-Owned Businesses would receive $694,000. The Senate bill also would provide an additional $500,000 for women-owned business procurement assistance. Additionally, the Senate-passed bill includes $1 million for the National Institute of Corrections to work with federal and state prisons to address “staff sexual misconduct involving female inmates.” The House-passed bill includes $1 million for the Justice Department’s General Legal Account to investigate prisoner abuse, including sexual abuse. The Senate-passed bill also maintains current law with respect to the prohibition on the use of federal funds to pay for abortions for women in federal prisons. The House-passed bill also includes the same restriction.

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