08 April 2020 – Emergency waiver of federal match requirement for victims services grant recipients

Type of Intervention: Specific Action, Financial and Economic
Sectors Involved: Civil Defence, Social Services
Intervention Categories: Legal and policy; Regulatory change; Finance policy and financial aid; Stimulus packages and financial support
Level of Jurisdiction: Texas
Lead People/Agency: Governor Greg Abbott

Overview: Governor Greg Abbott announced that his Public Safety Office (PSO) will provide a one-time emergency waiver of the federally required cash or in-kind match contribution required for the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) and STOP Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) grant funds. This waiver will provide financial relief to 600 grant recipient organizations in Texas who are federally required to contribute up to 25% of their own funds or donated services towards a project in order to remain eligible for continued grant funding.
Full details here: https://gov.texas.gov/news/post/governor-abbott-announces-emergency-waiver-of-federal-match-requirement-for-victims-services-grant-recipients

Type of Justification: Follows actions by U.S. Department of Justice
Evidence/Justification: This waiver follows an unprecedented match waiver process recently initiated for states by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime and Office on Violence Against Women. The waiver will remove financial burdens posed by COVID-19 by allowing grant recipients to use the cash match they had budgeted towards their grant project for other pressing needs and alleviating concerns about maintaining volunteer services while complying with stay at home orders and proper social distancing practices. Grant recipients use these funds to provide direct services to victims of crime to speed their recovery and use multi-disciplinary approaches to improve the justice system’s response to violent crimes. Agencies benefiting from this waiver include domestic violence shelters; rape crisis centers; children’s advocacy centers; court appointed special advocate programs; child sex trafficking shelters, drop-in centers, and advocacy programs; legal aid providers; and local units of governments employing crime victim liaisons and advocates.