House Bills 4674-4675 – Part of the Bipartisan Legislative Package Known as the Safer Michigan Act – Passed a Crucial Vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee
Reforms Increase Support for Crime Victims, Improve Access to the State’s Victim Compensation Program
LANSING, Mich. – Today, crucial reforms expanding support for crime victims passed the Senate Judiciary Committee in a bipartisan vote. House Bills 4674-4675, which are sponsored by State Rep. Bronna Kahle (R-Adrian) and Rep. Bradley Slagh (R-Zeeland), previously passed the House and are now headed to the Senate floor for a vote in the coming days. The legislation increases support for crime victims by allowing all victims in need to access victim compensation, expands victim compensation coverage to account for actual costs resulting from victimization, and increases how much time crime victims have to apply for help. The legislation, which is part of the Safer Michigan Act package of public safety bills, is supported by members of the business and faith communities, as well as crime survivors throughout the state.
“All crime victims should have access to the resources that they need to recover after experiencing violence,” said Aswad Thomas, vice president at Alliance for Safety and Justice and national director of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice. “Thanks to leaders like Rep. Kahle and Rep. Slagh, more Michigan crime victims are a step closer to having the resources they need to heal. Not only will this legislation help families across Michigan – it’ll strengthen their communities, too.”
“Without help, some crime survivors never recover after being victimized,” said Priscilla Bordayo, Michigan state director for Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice and a sexual abuse survivor. “I’m grateful to the lawmakers who took action today to ensure that all Michiganders can access the resources that they need to cover expenses and receive mental support after experiencing trauma from a violent attack.”
About Michigan’s Victim Compensation Bills (HB 4674-4675)
The Safer Michigan Act increases support for crime victims by allowing all crime victims in need to access victim compensation. This will expand victim compensation coverage to account for actual costs resulting from crime victimization, and increase how much time crime victims have to apply for help. Data from ASJ shows that 25 percent of Michiganders were the victim of a crime in a 10-year period, but less than 1 in 5 reported receiving information about services and fewer received any services (i.e., medical assistance, mental health support, financial assistance for medical costs or monetary losses, emergency or temporary housing). Michigan currently has the lowest application rate for victim compensation, in the nation. Survivors have just 48 hours to report a crime if they intend to apply for victim compensation – the shortest reporting limit in the country. Michigan statute also requires applicants to file claims in person or by mail, and compensation only covers a maximum of $25,000 for any application, which is below the national average, and well below actual costs.
ABOUT ALLIANCE FOR SAFETY AND JUSTICE
Alliance for Safety and Justice (ASJ) is a multi-state organization that aims to win new safety priorities in states across the country. It brings together diverse local crime survivors to advance policies that help communities most harmed by crime and violence, as part of its Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice network that has thousands of members in Michigan. For more information, visit https://allianceforsafetyandjustice.org.