Federal anticrime aid to states and localities may take a significant hit but far less than the cuts proposed by President Bush, a congressional appropriations panel’s actions yesterday indicate. In the first votes on the White House budget plan for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1, the House Science-State-Justice-Commerce subcommittee arrived at a $2.6 billion aid figure, $1 billion above Bush’s request but $400 million below last year’s total.
The appropriators did not agree with the White House plan to rescind $1.2 billion from a fund to aid crime victims. An analysis by the National Criminal Justice Association, which represents state and local anticrime agencies, said that the most significant reduction would be a 45 percent cut in the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant program. The House panel would increase funding for the DNA Backlog and Crime Lab Improvement program, maintain steady funding for efforts to reduce violence against women, and cut juvenile justice aid by about 10 percent. Based on the experience of recent years, funding allocations may be cut further as the budget moves to the full House Appropriations Committee and the Senate.