Walker Restores Some Funding to Sexual Assault Victims Services

Governor Scott Walker softened the blow to the state’s Sexual Assault Victims Services (SAVS) programs by excluding them from some cuts.

The programs were originally asked to budget for a 42.5 percent cut in state grants earmarked for them, but Walker moved to restore $294,350 to the grant programs Dec. 19. The programs still face cuts of 28 percent.

The Door County Sexual Assault Center had to cut $18,000 from its budget by Dec. 13 after the directors of centers across the state were instructed to revise their 2012 budgets last week.

The centers provide victim advocacy, medical advocacy, and support services as sexual assault cases move through the court system. SAVS are the only state programs serving victims of sexual assault.

The grants are funded through the Crime Victim and Witness Surcharge (CVWS), which is paid by perpetrators when they are convicted of a crime. The funds are dispersed through the Office of Crime Victim Services within the Department of Justice. That fund reached $1.76 million in 2008, but dipped to $1.39 million in 2011.

The new appropriation is funded from the crime victim and witness assistance surcharge, Part B, which is assessed on certain offenders convicted of a crime.