On Thursday, October 4th, the Senate passed the FY 2008 Commerce, Justice and Science (CJS) Appropriations bill and included an amendment that provides $10 million more to VAWA programs! The amendment provides:
· $5 million to partially restore the cut the Senate CJS Committee had previously proposed to Grants to Encourage Arrest and Enforcement of Protection Orders;
· $4 million for Engaging Men and Youth in Prevention Efforts; and
· $1 million for a National Resource Center on Workplace Responses to Assist Victims of Domestic and Sexual Violence.
This year the Senate bill includes $418 million for VAWA programs within the Department of Justice. The House passed a $459 million funding bill. In addition, the Senate and House CJS appropriations bill contain $10 million for the Sexual Assault Services Act (SASP).
Both the House and the Senate will “conference” the two different appropriations bills together and work out their differences, pass the new version in both the House and Senate and then send the bill to the President for his signature. However, earlier this week President Bush vetoed the State Children’s Health Insurance Plan (SCHIP) and has threatened to veto any spending bill that provides more money than he had requested for a specific agency in his FY 2008 budget plan.
You haven’t missed your chance to make your voice heard. PLEASE take a few moments to contact your Senators and Representatives. Urge them to override a Presidential Veto! Tell your legislator about the financial need for rape crisis centers in your State to provide both prevention programs and direct services for victims.