Hoeven: Senate's FY2020 Appropriations Legislation Provides Dedicated Funding for Indian Victims of Crime

Legislation Supports Tribal Public Safety, Education & Energy Development, Funds BIA Law Enforcement Training in the Great Plains

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, this week helped advance Fiscal Year 2020 funding legislation that supports important priorities for tribal communities, including public safety, education and energy development. This includes a key provision of his Securing Urgent Resources Vital to Indian Victim Empowerment (SURVIVE) Act, which would expand critical victims services by requiring a 5 percent allocation from the Crime Victims Fund (CVF) for Indian Tribes. The measure included in the funding bill would provide more than $150 million to assist victims of crime on the reservations in the coming fiscal year.

“The SURVIVE Act would help ensure that victims of crime on reservations receive support and aid them in their recovery, which is why we’ve included this dedicated CVF funding for Tribes while we work to pass our larger piece of legislation,” said Hoeven. “Further, this funding legislation helps advance other important efforts to improve public safety, education and energy development for Tribes, like funding for BIA law enforcement training in the Great Plains region and a new detention center for the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Tribe. We’ve worked to ensure this is a priority for the BIA and previously provided money for new construction, and our appropriations legislation will help move the process forward.”

In addition to the CVF funding, Hoeven worked to include the following priorities in the funding legislation:

  • Providing $2.5 million for specialized BIA law enforcement classes in the Great Plains and directing the agency to detail law enforcement needs by region and develop a comprehensive plan to fill vacancies.
  • Helping advance the development of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Tribe’s new detention center. The measure directs the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to report on how the size of the center will be determined, including the option of a high security adult detention block, and provide a cost estimate.
    • Hoeven worked to secure funding for new BIA detention centers in FY2019 and ensured that the Oyate Tribe’s project was listed as a top priority.
  • Maintaining the COPS Tribal Access Program, which enable Tribes to participate in the existing federal criminal background databases.
  • An increase of $208 million for the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE). This aligns with Hoeven’s work to improve education services available to Native American children and address school and facility needs and strengthen accountability at the BIE.
  • Directing the Bureau of Land Management and other permitting agencies to closely coordinate with Fort Berthold on oil and gas projects.