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We Stand Against Senate Bill 2675 www.wesleyhousemeridian.org Victim Advocates in Mississippi need your prayer and support in fighting politically charged legislation that will hurt over 100,000 victims, (domestic violence, sexual assault, homicide, children who are abused, etc.). Call your representatives about senate bill 2675. This bill will shut down all v...
Victim Advocates in Mississippi need your prayer and support in fighting politically charged legislation that will hurt over 100,000 victims, (domestic violence, sexual assault, homicide, children who are abused, etc.). Call your representatives about senate bill 2675.
This bill will shut down all victim services for a minimum of 6 to 12 months. This bill will affect not only Domestic Violence Shelters, but also Sexual Assault Programs, Human Trafficking Programs, Child Advocacy Centers, District Attorneys' Victim Services, Law Enforcement Domestic Violence Units and Survival of Homicide Programs. Victim service activities for thousands of citizens of Mississippi will possibly end with the simultaneous transferring of all funding and grants mentioned in the bill to the MS Department of Human Services.
"From and after July 1, 2014, the Mississippi Department of Human Services shall be the single state agency for the receipt of: (a) Grants made available to the states under the Victims of Crime Act of 1994 and for services to victims of interpersonal violence and crimes; (b) All grants made available to the state under the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 as reauthorized in 2013; (c) All grants made available to the states under the Family Violence and Prevention Act, through the United States Department of Health and Human Services; (d) Rape Prevention and Education Grants made available through the Center for Disease Control; (e) Crime bill grants, otherwise known as Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant made available through the Center for Disease Control; and (f) Portions of federal human trafficking funds made available to the states for victim services. (2) The commission shall also be authorized to contract with any agency of the state to receive grants or sub grants for the delivery of services to victims of interpersonal violence."
The time needed to make this transfer will impact the delivery of victim services across Mississippi. The above mentioned grants provide prevention and intervention services to over 100,000 citizens across the state. Currently there is no non-profit victim agency that can survive without funding for several months. This bill effects not only Domestic Violence Victims, but Sexual Assault Victims, Survivors of Homicide, Survivors of Crime Acts, Survivors of Human Trafficking, and Survivors of Child Abuse. All of the state interpersonal violence non-profit agencies are inter-twined with the domestic violence funds received on a federal level from VOCA, STOP, SASP, CDC, etc. Non-profit agencies do not have reserved funding to survive during the transition period it will take for the state agency, Department of Human Services, designated by this bill to implement this new "interpersonal violence agency." Below are a few examples of transactions that will be required for this new "interpersonal violence agency" to be created and implemented. The process below will take 6 months or more to complete: · transferring of federal grants to a new state agency; · recruiting, hiring and training new staff to oversee the new "interpersonal violence agency"; · transferring domestic violence marriage license funding from the local board of supervisors from the Health Department to the Department of Human Services; · allocating time for new staff to learn all Federal guidelines, policies and regulations for Victim Services in order to continue receiving funding; · transferring Federal grants that requires modifications and budget changes to be made from the State level to the Federal level; · developing new subcontracts to the US Department of Office of Justice, Center for Disease Control, US Department of Health and Human Services; and · the Department of Human Services developing new contracts with each non-profit victim service agency.
In addition to the freeze on current funding, the bill states it will take 10% of our current funding to create this new "interpersonal violence agency". Decreasing our current budget by 10% will also have a major impact on services. Currently, all agencies are recovering from local, state and federal cutbacks. To increase cutbacks will decrease direct services to victims. This bill is stating that all funding programs from the Department of Health and the Department of Public Safety and other sources will be transferred to the Department of Human Services. This action will be detrimental for all victim service agencies. This bill should not pass as written. If this bill passes, all Victims of Violent Crimes in the state of Mississippi will suffer. There are numerous of other concerns about this bill, but the most prominent is the fact that all funding will cease as of July 1, 2014. I ask you to call any Domestic Violence Shelter, Sexual Assault Program, Child Advocacy Center, Human Trafficking Program, Survival of Homicide Programs in the State of Mississippi and ask them this one question: Can your agency survive a freeze of funding for 6 months or more during this transition period?
Please pray against this Bill....victims in MS need your help.