Summary: S.51 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.51. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (01/19/1999)

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Title I: Strengthening Law Enforcement to Reduce Violence

Against Women

Title II: Strengthening Services to Victims of Violence

Title III: Limiting the Effects of Violence on Children

Title IV : Strengthening Education and Training to Combat

Violence Against Women

Title V: Extension of Violent Crime Reduction Trust Fund

Violence Against Women Act II - Title I: Strengthening Law Enforcement to Reduce Violence Against Women - Amends the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to authorize the Attorney General to make grants to eligible States, Indian tribal governments, or local governmental units to provide technical assistance and computer and other equipment to police departments, prosecutors, courts, and tribal jurisdictions to facilitate the widespread, including interstate, enforcement of protection orders. Instructs the Attorney General to give priority to grant applicants that: (1) have established cooperative agreements with neighboring jurisdictions to facilitate the enforcement of protection orders from other jurisdictions; and (2) will give priority to using the grant to develop and install data collection and communication systems linking police, prosecutors, courts, and tribal jurisdictions in order to identify and track protection orders and violations of such orders.

Directs the Attorney General to compile and disseminate information about successful data collection and communication systems.

Amends Federal criminal code provisions governing full faith and credit given to protection orders to provide that: (1) a State or Indian tribe shall not notify the party against whom a protection order has been made that the protection order has been registered or filed in the State or tribal jurisdiction unless requested to do so by the party protected under that order; and (2) nothing in this title may be construed to require prior filing or registration of such orders in the enforcing State as a prerequisite to enforcement by such State. Directs that a protection order that is otherwise consistent with this title shall be accorded full faith and credit and enforced notwithstanding the failure to provide notice to the party against whom the order is made of its registration or filing in the enforcing State or Indian tribe.

(Sec. 102) Amends such Act to designate State, local, and Indian tribal courts as eligible grantees in the program to combat violent crimes against women. Revises allocation percentages for police and prosecutors, victim services, and State and local courts (not less than 25 percent, 30 percent, and ten percent, respectively).

Amends the Equal Justice for Women in the Courts Act to expand training that may be provided under domestic violence training grants to include training with respect to issues concerning individuals with disabilities. Authorizes appropriations from the Violent Crime Reduction Trust Fund through FY 2002.

Includes State, local, and tribal courts among the grantees eligible for Federal grants to encourage arrest policies. Earmarks a minimum of five percent of the total amount available for grants each fiscal year for grants to Indian tribal governments.

(Sec. 103) Reauthorizes appropriations through FY 2002 for grants to combat violent crimes against women. Directs the Attorney General to make grants to State domestic violence and sexual assault coalitions for coordinating State victim services activities and for coordinating with Federal, State, and local entities engaged in violence against women activities.

(Sec. 104) Instructs the Attorney General to transfer flunitrazepam (the "date-rape" drug) from schedule IV of the Controlled Substances Act to schedule I (the strictest level of Federal drug penalty and control).

(Sec. 105) Reauthorizes appropriations through FY 2002 for grants to encourage arrest policies.

(Sec. 106) Amends the Federal criminal code to provide that any person who, while employed by or accompanying the armed forces outside of the United States, engages in conduct that would constitute a domestic violence or sexual assault offense if the conduct had been engaged in within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, shall be subject to prosecution in a U.S. district court. Sets forth provisions regarding concurrent jurisdiction and priority of exercise of jurisdiction. Authorizes the Secretary of Defense to designate and authorize any individual serving in a law enforcement position in the Department of Defense to arrest such a person outside of the United States if there is probable cause to believe that such person committed such an offense. Provides for the release of such arrested persons to civilian law enforcement authorities in specified circumstances.

Provides for delivery of such persons to the appropriate authorities of a foreign country if: (1) delivery is requested for trial for such conduct as an offense under the laws of that country; and (2) delivery is authorized by a treaty or other international agreement to which the United States is a party.

Requires the Secretary of the military department concerned to transmit to the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation a copy of records of any penal actions taken, including certain nonjudicial punishments imposed, against a member of the armed forces who is discharged, dismissed, or released from active duty.

(Sec. 107) Prohibits and sets penalties for willfully causing bodily injury to any person or attempting, through the use of fire, a firearm, or an explosive device, to cause bodily injury to any person, whether or not acting under color of law, because of: (1) the actual or perceived race, color, religion, or national origin of any person; or (2) the actual or perceived religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability of any person if, in connection with the offense, the defendant or the victim travels in interstate or foreign commerce, uses a facility or instrumentality of interstate or foreign commerce, or engages in any activity affecting interstate or foreign commerce, or the offense is in or affects such commerce. Authorizes appropriations to the Departments of the Treasury and of Justice through FY 2002 to increase the number of personnel to prevent and respond to such alleged violations.

Directs the United States Sentencing Commission to study and, if appropriate, amend the Federal sentencing guidelines to provide sentencing enhancements for adult defendants who recruit juveniles to assist in the commission of hate crimes.

Directs the Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention of the Department of Justice to make grants to State and local programs designed to combat hate crimes committed by juveniles. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 108) Amends the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 to reauthorize through FY 2002: (1) rural domestic violence and child abuse enforcement grants (and allots not less than five percent of the total made available for each fiscal year for grants to Indian tribal governments); and (2) national stalker and domestic violence reduction grants.

(Sec. 110) Modifies Federal criminal code provisions regarding interstate domestic violence, interstate stalking, and interstate violation of a protective order to cover situations where persons travel in interstate or foreign commerce or to or from Indian country. Deems a tribal court, for purposes of full faith and credit provisions, to have jurisdiction over any activity occurring in Indian country.

Title II: Strengthening Services to Victims of Violence - Authorizes the Attorney General to make grants to private and nonprofit entities, publicly funded organizations not acting in a governmental capacity, and Indian tribal governments and affiliated organizations, to: (1) implement, expand, and establish cooperative efforts and projects between domestic violence and sexual assault victim advocacy organizations and civil legal assistance providers to strengthen a broad range of civil legal assistance for victims of domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault; (2) implement, expand, and establish efforts and projects to strengthen a broad range of civil legal assistance for victims of domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault by organizations with a demonstrated history of providing direct legal or advocacy services on behalf of these victims; and (3) provide training, technical assistance, and data collection to improve the capacity of grantees and other entities to offer civil legal assistance to victims of domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault.

Authorizes the Attorney General to: (1) make a grant to establish, operate, and maintain a national computer database of programs that provide civil legal assistance to victims of domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault; and (2) evaluate the grants funded under this title through contracts or other arrangements with entities expert on domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault and on evaluation research. Authorizes appropriations from the Violent Crime Reduction Trust Fund to carry out this title through FY 2002, with at least five percent of available amounts in each fiscal year used for grants for programs that assist victims of domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault on lands within the jurisdiction of an Indian tribe.

(Sec. 202) Amends the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act with respect to State demonstration grants for programs and projects to prevent family violence and provide immediate shelter and related assistance to victims. Requires grant applicants to provide documentation, including memoranda of understanding, of the specific involvement of the State domestic violence coalition and other knowledgeable individuals and interested organizations, in the development of the application.

Earmarks funds to provide emergency assistance directly to victims of family violence, or their dependents, who are in the process of fleeing an abusive situation.

Changes from a formula amount to $500,000 the minimum allotment to each State for such grants.

Requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to make grants to Indian tribes and organizations from any sums not distributed to them.

Authorizes the Secretary to award grants to private nonprofit organizations for information, training, and technical assistance initiatives in specified subject areas.

Authorizes appropriations under such Act through FY 2002.

Revises the formula for the allocation of appropriations for grants for State coalitions.

Directs the Secretary to conduct a nationwide needs assessment relating to family violence prevention and services programs.

Authorizes the Secretary to award grants to up to ten State domestic violence coalitions, and up to ten local entities that carry out domestic violence programs providing shelter or related assistance, to develop and implement model community intervention strategies to address family violence in underserved populations.

Prescribes formulae for the redistribution of funds available due to certain limitations.

(Sec. 203) Prohibits any insurer from, directly or indirectly, taking any adverse action against: (1) an innocent insured; or (2) an applicant or insured on the basis that the applicant or insured, or any person employed by the applicant or insured or with whom the applicant or insured is known to have a relationship or association is, has been, or may be the subject of abuse.

Defines an innocent insured as a subject of abuse insured under the same policy as the abuser, but who is not (in light of all the facts and circumstances) the cause of any claim incurred or that may incur.

Requires any insurer taking an adverse action against a known subject of abuse to advise the applicant or insured in writing of the specific reasons for the action.

Empowers the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to enforce such prohibitions and policy. Provides for a private action against an insurer by an applicant or insured affected by a violation of this Act.

(Sec. 204) Amends the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act to extend through FY 2002 the authorization of appropriations for the national domestic violence hotline.

(Sec. 205) Amends the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 to extend through FY 2002 and increase the authorization of appropriations for Federal victims' counselors.

(Sec. 206) Amends the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 to entitle employees to leave to: (1) address domestic violence and its effects; or (2) care for a child or parent of the employee who is addressing domestic violence and its effects. Authorizes an employer to require an employee to provide documentation or other corroborating evidence.

Amends Federal civil service law to entitle Federal employees to take such leave, subject to the same requirements.

(Sec. 207) Amends the Internal Revenue Code to authorize unemployment compensation where an individual is separated from employment due to circumstances directly resulting from the individual's experience of domestic violence.

Amends the Social Security Act to require State laws to provide for methods of administration that will ensure that claims reviewers and hearing personnel are adequately trained in the nature and dynamics of claims for unemployment compensation based on domestic violence, including methods of ascertaining and keeping information confidential.

(Sec. 208) Amends the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 with respect to aliens who have been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty to provide for waiver of certain immigration requirements.

(Sec. 209) Amends the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 to add a new Subtitle H (Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation, Including Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Against Older Individuals).

Directs the Attorney General to: (1) make grants to law school clinical programs for the purposes of funding the inclusion of cases addressing issues of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation, including domestic violence, and sexual assault, against older individuals; and (2) develop curricula and offer, or provide for the offering of, training programs to assist law enforcement officers and prosecutors in recognizing, addressing, investigating, and prosecuting instances of such abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Authorizes appropriations.

Amends the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act and the Older Americans Act of 1965 with respect to programs addressing such issues, including related training for health professionals.

Amends the Older Americans Act of 1965 to authorize appropriations for programs and activities for the prevention of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

Requires the Secretary to make grants to: (1) support projects in local communities to coordinate activities concerning intervention in and prevention of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation, including domestic violence, and sexual assault, against older individuals; and (2) develop and implement outreach programs directed toward assisting older individuals who are victims of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation, including those in senior housing complexes and senior centers. Authorizes appropriations.

Amends the Public Health Service Act (as amended by the Health Professions Education Partnerships Act of 1998) to require the Secretary to give preference in the award of certain grants and contracts to any health professions educational entity that requires, as a condition of receiving a degree or certificate, that each student have had significant training in the identification and referral of victims of elder abuse and neglect.

Title III: Limiting the Effects of Violence on Children - Authorizes the Attorney General to make grants to States and Indian tribal governments to enable them to enter into contracts and cooperative agreements to assist public or private nonprofit entities in establishing and operating supervised visitation centers for purposes of facilitating supervised visitation and visitation exchange of children by and between parents. Requires that priority be given to States that consider domestic violence in making a custody decision and require findings on the record.

(Sec. 302) Directs the Attorney General to study and report to Congress on Federal and State laws relating to child custody, including the Parental Kidnaping Prevention Act of 1980, and their effect on child custody cases in which domestic violence is a factor. Requires such study to examine the sufficiency of defenses to parental abduction charges available in cases involving domestic violence, and the burdens and risks encountered by victims of domestic violence arising from compliance with the full faith and credit (and judicial jurisdiction) requirements of that Act. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 303) Amends the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act to authorize appropriations for grants through FY 2002.

Directs the Secretary to compile annually and disseminate, especially to community-based programs (including domestic violence and sexual assault programs), specified information about the use of amounts expended and the projects funded under such Act.

(Sec. 304) Amends the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990 to authorize appropriations through FY 2002 for: (1) the court-appointed special advocate program; (2) child abuse training programs for judicial personnel and practitioners; and (3) grants for televised testimony.

Directs the Attorney General to compile annually and disseminate, especially to community-based programs (including domestic violence and sexual assault programs), specified information about the use of amounts expended and the projects funded under such Act.

Title IV: Strengthening Education and Training to Combat Violence Against Women - Amends the Public Health Service Act to direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in awarding grants or contracts for health professions and nurse education, to give preference to a relevant health professions entity that requires, as a condition of receiving a degree or certificate, that a student has had significant training in the identification, examination, treatment, and referral of victims of domestic violence.

(Sec. 401) Defines relevant health professions entity as a school of medicine, a school of osteopathic medicine, a graduate program in mental health practice, a school of nursing, a program for the training of physician assistants, or a program for the training of allied health professionals.

(Sec. 402) Authorizes the Attorney General to make grants for the development and dissemination of model programs to provide education and training in appropriate and effective responses to victims of domestic violence and victims of sexual assault (including, as appropriate, the effects of domestic violence on children) to individuals (other than law enforcement officers and prosecutors) who are likely to come into contact with such victims during the course of their employment. Limits such grants to public and private nonprofit entities that have: (1) nationally recognized expertise in the areas of domestic violence and sexual assault; and (2) a record of commitment and quality responses to reduce domestic violence and sexual assault. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 403) Requires States to use certain transferred funds for rape prevention and education programs conducted by rape crisis centers, State sexual assault coalitions, and other public and private nonprofit entities for: (1) educational seminars; (2) hotlines; (3) training programs for professionals; (4) the preparation of informational material; (5) education and training programs for students and campus personnel designed to reduce the incidence of sexual assault at colleges and universities; and (6) other efforts to increase awareness of, or to help prevent, sexual assault, including efforts to increase awareness in underserved communities and awareness among individuals with disabilities. Requires at least 25 percent of grant funds are used for educational programs targeted for middle school, junior high, and high school students.

Directs the Secretary, through the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to establish a National Resource Center on Sexual Assault (with a central resource library) to provide resource information, policy, training, and technical assistance to Federal, State, and Indian tribal agencies, as well as to State sexual assault coalitions and local sexual assault programs and to other professionals and interested parties on issues relating to sexual assault.

Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 404) Directs the Secretary to provide grants to individuals or organizations to carry out educational programs for elementary schools, middle schools, secondary schools, or institutions of higher education with respect to information regarding, and prevention of, domestic violence and violence among intimate partners. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 405) Directs the Attorney General to make grants to States and nongovernmental private entities to provide education and technical assistance for the purpose of providing training, consultation, and information on violence, abuse, and sexual assault against women who are individuals with disabilities. Authorizes appropriations for such grants through FY 2002.

(Sec. 406) Amends the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act to make grants to groups that provide services to or advocate on behalf of individuals with disabilities eligible for demonstration grants for community initiatives. Authorizes appropriations for such grants through FY 2002.

(Sec. 407) Directs the Attorney General to establish a multidisciplinary, multiagency national commission to: (1) evaluate standards of training and practice for licensed health care professionals performing sexual assault forensic examinations, and develop a national recommended training standard; (2) recommend minimum sexual assault forensic examination training for all health care students; (3) review national, State, and local protocols on sexual assault for forensic examinations, and develop a recommended national protocol and a mechanism for nationwide dissemination; and (4) study and evaluate State procedures for payment of forensic examinations for victims of sexual assault, and establish a recommended Federal protocol for such payment. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 408) Authorizes the Attorney General to make a grant to a private, nonprofit entity meeting certain requirements to establish a national clearinghouse and resource center to provide information and assistance to employers and labor organizations on appropriate workplace responses to domestic violence and sexual assault. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 409) Amends the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 to direct the Secretary to make grants to entities, including domestic violence and sexual assault organizations, research organizations, and academic institutions, to: (1) support specified research and evaluation of education, prevention, and intervention programs on violent behavior against women; and (2) address gaps in research and knowledge about violence against women, including violence against women in underserved communities.

Directs the U.S. Sentencing Commission to report to Congress on: (1) Federal and State sentences for homicides or assaults in which the victim was a spouse, former spouse, or intimate partner of the offender; (2) the effect of illicit drugs and alcohol on domestic violence and the sentences imposed for offenses involving them in which domestic violence occurred; (3) the extent to which acts of domestic violence committed against the offender, including coercion, may have contributed to the commission of an offense; (4) an analysis delineated by race, gender, type of offense, and any other categories that would be useful for understanding the problem of domestic violence; and (5) recommendations with respect to all such offenses, including any basis for a downward adjustment in any applicable Federal sentencing guidelines determination.

Directs the Secretary to make grants to nonprofit entities, including sexual assault organizations, research organizations, and academic institutions, in order to gather qualitative and quantitative data on the experiences of minors and adults who become pregnant as a result of sexual assault within State health care, judicial, and social services systems.

Requires the Attorney General to study and report to Congress on the status of the law with respect to rape and sexual assault offenses and the effectiveness of the implementation of laws in addressing such crimes and protecting their victims.

Authorizes appropriations.

Title V: Extension of Violent Crime Reduction Trust Fund - Amends the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 to authorize appropriations to the Violent Crime Reduction Trust Fund through FY 2002.

Reduces discretionary spending limits for FY 2001 and 2002 in the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act) by specified offsetting amounts.