General Treasurer Seth Magaziner today commended the Rhode Island Senate for unanimously voting to expand state's Crime Victim Compensation Program to include support for minors who witness homicides or domestic violence.
"It is estimated that children are present for over a third of the domestic violence arrests in Rhode Island. These children are, without doubt, victims." said Treasurer Seth Magaziner. "I am grateful that the General Assembly has taken steps to expand Treasury's Crime Victim Compensation Program to include support for the most vulnerable Rhode Islanders."
The legislation, which was developed by the Treasurer's Office and introduced in the Senate by Chairwoman Hanna M. Gallo (District 27 - Cranston), allows parents and guardians to apply to Rhode Island's Crime Victim Compensation Program for reimbursement for expenses related to psychiatric care and mental health counseling for underage witnesses of violent crime.
"As a longtime advocate for children, I have seen the impact that violence can have throughout their lives," said Senator Gallo, who serves as Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Education. "I am pleased to work with Treasurer Magaziner on this legislation and look forward to having this bill signed into law."
The legislation allows reimbursement for expenses related to psychiatric care and mental health counseling up to $1,500 per minor victim - bringing the amount available for psychiatric care and mental health counseling in line with adult victims. More than twenty states allow minors to seek compensation from their state Crime Victim Compensation Program.
Approximately 60 percent of Crime Victim Compensation Program compensation costs are provided by the US Department of Justice, with the balance typically covered by fees recovered by the Rhode Island Court System, thus the legislation is not expected to have a material impact on general revenue expenditures.
A companion bill, sponsored by Majority Leader Joseph Shekarchi, was passed by the Rhode Island House of Representatives earlier in the legislative session.
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Evan England, Director of Communications Office of the General Treasurer (401) 439-2199 firstname.lastname@example.org