The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs will be considering S. 1704, the Securing Urgent Resources Vital to Indian Victim Empowerment Act, or “SURVIVE Act,” on Wednesday, July 22, at 2:15pm. The bill would create a new grant program for services for crime victims at the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Office of Tribal Justice Support. Funding for the program would come from a 5% allocation from the Crime Victims Fund (CVF). Total distributions from the CVF are expected to be around $2.6 billion this year, and 5% for the new tribal program would be $130 million. NCAI sent a letter to the Committee supporting S. 1704 and making several suggestions for strengthening the legislation. NCAI’s recommendations include:
- Clarifying that the new program should be a formula rather than a competitive program.
- Permanently authorizing the program in the same manner as other CVF-funded programs, rather than having the program expire after a 10-year period.
- Clarifying that tribes in PL 280 states are eligible for the program on the same footing as other tribes.
- Clarifying the data collection requirements to safeguard victim confidentiality and safety.
- Removing the provision requiring negotiated rulemaking and instead requiring government-to-government consultation.
The full bill text is available here. NCAI urges tribes and other interested stakeholders to communicate their support and any recommendations for amending the legislation to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.
NCAI Contact Information: Virginia Davis, Senior Policy Advisor, firstname.lastname@example.org.