Scanlon Co-Led “VOCA Fix” Signed Into Law By President Biden

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05) today celebrated President Biden’s signing of the VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act. The bill, which Rep. Scanlon co-led, passed the U.S. House of Representatives with bipartisan support in March and the U.S. Senate with unanimous support on Tuesday. President Biden signed the bill into law during a ceremony at the White House this afternoon. 


The VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act supports vital victim service programs by preventing future cuts to already diminished federal victim service grants.


VOCA grants are the primary source of federal funding for thousands of victim service providers around the country, including programs serving victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, trafficking, and drunk driving. VOCA grants also fund victim compensation — including paying medical bills, covering lost wages, and paying for funeral costs. These critical grants are not taxpayer-funded. Instead, they are paid out of the Crime Victims Fund (CVF), which is funded, in turn, through federal criminal penalties. Over the past several years, deposits into the CVF have dropped, leading to corresponding cuts in grants to victim service providers.


"VOCA funds are a critical resource for programs serving victims of violent crime,” said Rep. Scanlon. “They fund programs for survivors of domestic violence, human trafficking and gun violence, help families coping with opioid abuse, and provide compensation for a wide range of crime victims. In recent years, the reduction in VOCA funds has jeopardized vital services provided by organizations across our community. Seeing President Biden sign the VOCA Fix today was a moment of immense pride — and relief. Thanks to this bill, victims of crime and victim service providers can count on more effective, reliable, and accessible programs and services moving forward. I thank my co-leads for their commitment to getting this bill over the finish line and for showing America’s survivors that we will do all we can to support them.”


The VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act requires the Department of Justice to deposit all monetary penalties, including from deferred prosecution and non-prosecution agreements, into the CVF. This simple fix will prevent future funding cuts that jeopardize programs’ ability to serve their communities. In addition, the bill will:


  • Bolster state victim compensation funds by increasing the federal grant calculation for funding to victim compensation programs from the current 60 percent to 75 percent of state-funded payouts;
  • Allow states to request a no-cost extension from the Attorney General, as allowed for other Department of Justice formula grant programs, to ensure states can thoughtfully and effectively distribute victim service grants without being penalized;
  • Require state VOCA Administrators to waive the 20 percent match requirement for victim service subgrantees for the pendency of the COVID-19 crisis and one additional year;
  • Allow state VOCA Administrators to waive subgrantee match requirements at their discretion after the aforementioned waiver expires and require state VOCA Administrators to develop and publish a policy and procedure for obtaining a waiver;
  • Instruct the Office for Victims of Crime not to deduct restitution payments recovered by state victim compensation funds when calculating victim compensation awards; and
  • Provide flexibility for state compensation programs to waive the requirement to promote victim cooperation with law enforcement if good cause is established by the program.


Co-leading the VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act with Rep. Scanlon (D-PA) were House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Ann Wagner (R-MO), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), and John Moolenaar (R-MI). It was led in the Senate by Senate Majority Whip and Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee Dick Durbin (D-IL), along with Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).


Find the full bill text  here.



Stay Connected

Use the form below to sign up for my newsletter and get the latest news and updates directly to your inbox.

Office Locations