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Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham

Representing the 1st District of New Mexico

Rep. Lujan Grisham Urges Judiciary Committee to Hold Hearing on Crime Bill

Sep 25, 2018
Press Release
Lujan Grisham Bill Prioritizes Funding to Help Tribal, State & Local Law Enforcement Fight Violent & Drug-Related Crimes

Rep. Lujan Grisham Urges Judiciary Committee to Hold Hearing on Crime Bill

Lujan Grisham Bill Prioritizes Funding to Help Tribal, State & Local Law Enforcement Fight Violent & Drug-Related Crimes

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham sent a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member on the Judiciary Committee requesting a hearing on the Start Allocating Funds Efficiently to States (SAFE States) Act (H.R. 6656), which would prioritize Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program funding to states that have higher violent crime rates like New Mexico.

"This bill would ensure that states with high violent crime rates receive their fair share of federal funding to not only train law enforcement and combat crime, but also make investments in drug treatment, mental health, education, and reentry programs,” Rep. Lujan Grisham said in the letter. “Families and businesses can only thrive if we make targeted, evidence-based public safety investments in the areas that need it most.”

SAFE States Act

  • The current formula that the Byrne JAG Program uses to distribute funding to states is based half on the state’s population and based half on the state’s violent crime rate.
  • The SAFE States Act modifies this formula so that 70% of the funding is determined by a state’s violent crime rate while 30% of the funding is contingent on a state’s population.
  • This new formula would allocate more funding to states like New Mexico with high violent crime rates (In 2016, New Mexico had only 0.64% of the country’s population but 1.13% of violent crimes)
  • In FY2016, New Mexico was allocated approximately $93 per violent crime, which is one of the lowest allocations in the country.

Please find the full letter here or below.

TEXT OF LETTER

September 25, 2018

 

 

The Honorable Robert Goodlatte                               The Honorable Jerrold Nadler

Chairman, House Committee on the Judiciary           Ranking Member, House Committee on the Judiciary

2138 Rayburn House Office Building                        2035 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515                                              Washington, DC 20515

 

Dear Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Nadler,

I respectfully request that you hold a hearing on the Start Allocating Funds Efficiently to States (SAFE States) Act (H.R. 6656), which would prioritize Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program funding to states that have higher crime rates. As you know, the Byrne JAG Program is the leading source of federal funding to tribal, state, and local law enforcement agencies that helps reduce and prevent violent and drug-related crimes.

The current formula that the Byrne JAG Program uses to distribute funding to states is based half on a state’s population and half on its number of violent crimes. This structure shortchanges states like New Mexico that have lower populations but higher violent crime rates. For example, in Fiscal Year 2016, New Mexico was allocated $93 per violent crime, which was one of the lowest allocations in the country. H.R. 6656 would modify the formula so that 70% of funding is based on number of violent crimes while 30% is based on population.

This bill would ensure that states with high violent crime rates receive their fair share of federal funding to not only train law enforcement and combat crime, but also make investments in drug treatment, mental health, education, and reentry programs. Families and businesses can only thrive if we make targeted, evidence-based public safety investments in the areas that need it most.

I respectfully request that you hold a hearing on H.R. 6656 in order to better prioritize Byrne JAG funding and help fight violent crime across the country.

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