State Senator Malcolm Smith (D-Queens) today announced that the Legislature added millions of dollars in funding to the State budget for programs that enhance public safety and aid victims of violent crime.
"Programs that protect victims of domestic violence and sexual assault are important in every corner of New York. That’s why I worked diligently this year to ensure that funds were distributed across the state for programs that provide services to victims, and assist law enforcement in investigating predators," said Senator Smith. "We must do all we can to protect victims of violent crimes, and keep these crimes from occurring in the future. My colleagues and I fought hard this year to add these funds to keep public safety programs strong and prominent in our communities."
The Senator noted that $200,000 was added for the Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) grant program, which provides access to forensic services for victims, including rape kits. The Legislature was also successful in adding $1 million for programs assisting victims of domestic violence, and over $2 million for expenses of anti-drug, anti-violence, crime control, prevention and treatment programs.
The Senator said he was disappointed that the Governor vetoed the Legislature’s $2.5 million restoration for local anti-drug, anti-violence, crime control, prevention and treatment programs and hopes that through negotiations these critical funds would be restored.
"Operation IMPACT is a great example of an anti-crime program that will benefit the entire state. This program, which received over $15 million in funding in this year’s budget, is designed to achieve long term crime reduction across the state. Currently, the program is in the 17 counties which have the highest volume of crime outside of New York City. The benefits of this program are obvious, and I know that Operation IMPACT has the potential to make permanent positive change in New York," said Senator Smith.
The Senator said that in addition to ending the statute of limitations on rape cases, there is more work to be done to assist rape victims and prevent future crimes against women, as well as sexual assault involving children.
"I am proud to report that my colleagues and I added $1 million for pilot programs for Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to track sex offenders. This is a component of a statewide plan to combat this issue and prevent future crimes. By funding this and similar programs, we can monitor these violent predators, track their whereabouts and keep them away from our kids. I am incredibly pleased about the progress that we made this year, and I know that this added funding will have far reaching affects," concluded Senator Smith.