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Katko aims to boost funding for programs to help domestic violence survivors

Congress Homeland Security

Rep. John Katko questions witnesses during a House Committee on Homeland Security hearing in 2020.

U.S. Rep. John Katko is teaming up with Democrats and Republicans in Congress to reauthorize a 1984 law that supports domestic violence survivors and their children. 

A bill co-sponsored by Katko, R-Camillus, would renew the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The law is the main funding source for emergency shelters and other programs that assist domestic violence survivors. 

The legislation would increase funding of the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act to $253 million and expand access to culturally specific programs. It would also update the National Domestic Violence Hotline and services for underrepresented populations, such as Native Americans and people with hearing loss. 

A new grant program would be created to fund programs for underserved domestic violence survivors, including people with disabilities and residents living in rural communities. Some provisions of the law would be updated to "ensure common understanding across different federal programs," according to a news release. 

Katko said the law plays an important role in assisting domestic violence survivors and their children. 

"In central New York, I've heard firsthand how important FVPSA is to keeping families safe and ensuring they have access to emergency resources," he said. "By reauthorizing this important program, we will ensure local, state and tribal governments, as well as critical service providers in our communities, have the resources necessary to prevent violence and provide essential protection and support services to survivors." 

The reauthorization bill was introduced by U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath, a Georgia Democrat, in 2019. Katko was one of the original cosponsors of the measure, which was supported by 64 other members of Congress. 

The legislation was referred to the House Education and Labor Committee, but it did not advance. McBath has reintroduced the bill, with Katko as one of the original cosponsors. 

Politics reporter Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.


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Online producer and politics reporter

I have been The Citizen's online producer and politics reporter since December 2009. I'm the author of the Eye on NY blog and write the weekly Eye on NY column that appears every Sunday in the print edition of The Citizen and online at

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