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February 7, 2024

Attorney General Bird Urges Congress to Provide Bridge Funding for Crime Victims

DES MOINES—Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird today announced that she joined a bipartisan coalition of 42 attorneys general in a letter to Congress, urging it to provide critical bridge funding for crime victims.

The Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (“VOCA”) is the main funding source for victim services across the country. With a 41% decrease projected in payments to the VOCA fund this year, the States are calling on Congress to provide short-term funding while the Fund is replenished. The projected decrease in VOCA funding means that many victim service programs across the country may be forced to close. That will leave victims without essential care, including mental-health counseling, medical care, lost wages, courtroom advocacy, and temporary housing.

“We must prevent victims from being victimized twice,” said Attorney General Bird. “With the projected 41% slash in VOCA funding, victims will be stripped of critical services, such as medical care and mental-health counseling, and many victim service programs will be forced to close. Victims have already been through enough. We’re calling on Congress to provide bridge funding to ensure victims and survivors receive the support they deserve.”

The Iowa Attorney General’s office sent a letter to Iowa’s Congressional delegation in September, encouraging them to support VOCA funding. The Office has also requested funding from the Iowa State Legislature this session to support crime victims in the case that VOCA is cut.

Iowa joined the Illinois, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin-led letter, along with Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming. The States were joined by the District of Columbia, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Read the full letter here.


For More Information:

Alyssa Brouillet | Communications Director

(515) 823-9112

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