Despite new hotline, Bowser’s budget proposes cut to victim support

WASHINGTON – There’s a new resource for crime victims in D.C., but even as the city launches it, one council member is concerned about the funding that supports victim services.

“We’re going through the budget process right now,” said councilman Kenyan McDuffie, chairman of the council’s judiciary committee.

McDuffie, who was present at the hotline’s launch, pointed to the proposed cuts in Mayor Muriel Bowser’s proposed fiscal 2017 operating budget.

Bowser’s proposed budget suggests another $660,000 cut in grant funds and a $2.6 million sweep of the Crime Victim’s Assistance Fund.

“The crime victims assistance fund is a very important tool to make sure the funding and grants are getting to our advocates to make sure they can continue to support victims,” McDuffie said.

McDuffie says last year there were several cuts in funding to victim’s services that he patched with an additional $2.2 million to the Office of Victims Services and Justice grants.

That program funds agencies like Bread for the City, The DC Volunteer Lawyers Project and the DC Rape Crisis Center.

According to the mayor’s budget engagement presentation, the city spends 35 percent of its budget, or $4.6 billion on Health and Human Services.

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