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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: June 2, 2021 11:49 AM
From: Senator Anthony H. Williams and Sen. Vincent J. Hughes, Sen. Art Haywood, Sen. Sharif Street
To: All Senate members
Subject: Community Violence Prevention Funding through American Rescue Plan
In the near future, we plan on introducing legislation to allocate $100 million of funds from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) for violence prevention and public safety initiatives.  The allocation of this money will provide much needed assistance to a growing epidemic plaguing our communities. 
The epidemic of rising crime rates across our communities has been recognized by U.S. Treasury.  In their guidance U.S. Treasury understood the negative impact COVID-19 has had on violence in our communities.  Use of State Fiscal Relief Fund for “evidence-based community violence intervention programs to prevent violence and mitigate the increase in violence during the pandemic . . .” was expressly included in their guidance.
All of us are aware of the rise in violence COVID-19 has brought to many communities across the Commonwealth.  According to research from the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice, the homicide rate in 2020 was 11.4 deaths per 100,000 residents.  The study also found in 2020 that gun assaults rose by 8% and aggravated assaults rose by 6%.  Domestic violence incidents, according to the report, have increased by more than 8% after COVID-related lockdowns took effect.
Under our plan, $100 million in grant funding would be awarded through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD).  Funding will be available for evidence-based community-based gun violence prevention programs as well as for programs designed to reduce suicide, domestic violence, violence based on race/ethnicity/national origin/gender/sexual orientation. 
I hope you will join us in sponsoring this legislation.