Treasurer Diossa, State Leaders Urge Support of Legislation to Expand Crime Victims Compensation Program

Published on Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Providence, RI – Today at the State House, General Treasurer James Diossa, along with Lieutenant Governor Matos, Secretary of State Amore, and Representative Carol McEntee urged the General Assembly to pass legislation to increase the funding pool for the Treasury’s Crime Victims’ Compensation Program. The House version of the bill (H5977) will be heard this evening in the House Finance Committee.

“As we mark National Crime Victims’ Rights Week and Child Abuse Prevention Month, I strongly encourage the General Assembly to strengthen and remove barriers to this program that helps alleviate the impact of violent crime,” said Treasurer Diossa. “This legislation would open up greater funding for the program and would lower hurdles for victims to access funds.”

“Over the last few years, Rhode Island has vastly improved our laws protecting survivors of crime. Those changes were possible only because of the important work of advocates and of brave survivors who have come forward,” said Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos. “Treasurer Diossa and Rep McEntee have continued these efforts by proposing thoughtful changes to the Crime Victims’ Compensation Program that put survivors first, and I am proud to stand with them in support of H 5977.”

“When individuals are impacted by crime, it can be challenging and frightening to continue doing things that were once common and easy to do – especially when it comes to public life,” said Secretary of State Gregg M. Amore. “Programs like the Crime Victim Compensation Program and the RI Department of State’s Address Confidentiality Program are so important during an incredibly difficult time. I’m proud of the resources Rhode Island offers to support crime victims.”

“The State Crime Victims Compensation Program has proven to be a godsend for so many individuals and families in our state. But even though it is highly successful in protecting, supporting, and helping victims of crime, the program needs to be adapted to our ever-changing times.  This bill will do just that, expanding the program so that it will help even more Rhode Islanders who are desperate for support and help,” said Rep. Carol Hagan McEntee (D-Dist. 33, South Kingstown, Narragansett).

Treasurer Diossa also highlighted the work that organizations, like Day One and The Aubin Center, are doing to serve victims of crime in Rhode Island.

The legislation would add a two dollar fine to traffic violations in Rhode Island, would permit program funds to be used to ensure victim safety at home, and would allow victims to submit a medical report in lieu of a police report as part of their compensation application for certain crimes.