San Diego officials and crime victims are backing the movement to save the federal crime victims aid fund from budget cuts, Copley News Service reports. Maria Keever and Milena Sellers of San Diego are thankful for thousands of federal dollars they received for therapy after the murder of their sons in the South Bay in 1993. A decade later, they received more aid when a suspect was arrested and convicted of murder in the slayings.
The women and their families have considered applying for more money. Victims advocates, lawmakers, and all 50 state attorneys general say the 1984 Victims of Crime Fund is in jeopardy. The $1.2 billion in the fund has been collected from criminal offenders, not taxpayers, and disbursements help the families of 3.6 million crime victims annually. The Bush administration wants to remove money from the fund and deposit it in a general account by 2007. Administration officials want the money in a different account to help eliminate deficit spending. They said crime victims will continue to be compensated. Bush is seeking $30 million more for the program in 2006 to raise the government’s expenditure to $650 million, Rep. Darrell Issa and other lawmakers from both parties argue that the Bush plan would eliminate the crime victims program. Issa said the victims funds “should not be mixed with other federal revenues.”