Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02) applauds the decision to leave the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Fund intact for victims. Last week, the State, Science, Justice, and Commerce (SSJC) Appropriations Subcommittee recommended not to rescind the VOCA Fund, as requested in the Presidents Budget. The Presidents FY 07 budget called for the removal of the rainy day surplus from the VOCA Fund and for it to be placed in the general treasury. This is not taxpayer money and it should not be used to fund other government programs, said Poe.

Congressman Poe, founder and co-chair of the Congressional Victims Rights Caucus, led the fight to save the VOCA Fund in the House with members of the Victims Rights Caucus and the Congressional Womens Caucus. This is a victory for victims and victim advocates throughout the country, said Poe. The VOCA Fund serves nearly 4,400 victim service programs throughout the country and reaches nearly 3 million victims of crime per year. The Appropriations Subcommittee heard the protests of 111 Members of Congress, countless victim advocates and victims and has agreed the money should stay put.

Established in 1984, the VOCA Fund is obtained through the collection of Federal criminal court fees and judgments; it is made up of zero taxpayer dollars. The VOCA Fund is then dispersed throughout various victims services and victims compensation programs across the country. Currently, there is $1.255 billion dollars in the Fund, with a cap placed at $625 million dollars to be allocated out each year. The remainder of the Fund, or the rainy day surplus as it is known in the victims field, exists to replenish the cap in the case that Federal criminal court fees and judgments do not meet the previous years expectations.

Congressman Poe co-founded and co-chairs the Congressional Victims Right Caucus. He has over 22 years experience dealing with criminal cases as a felony court judge and a prosecutor and remains a leading authority on crime, justice, and childrens issues. Congressman Poe serves on the Board of Directors for the National Childrens Alliance in Washington, DC and The Childrens Assessment Center in Houston.