Victim-Witness Program Hit Hard by Funding Cuts
Victim-Witness Coordinator Margie Roselli was on hand during the regular Clearfield County Commissioners meeting to ask the commissioners to approve modifications to two grants. She stated the deadline for the grants is June 30.
Roselli said that the federal Victims of Crime Act grant funding is projected to be cut by 9 percent. She said this will reduce her office’s funding by $11,000. She said she tweaked her budget and had the loss reduced to a $3,400+plus deficit. She also pointed out that the state’s Victims of Juvenile Crime Act grant no longer exists. She pointed out that the VOJA grant always needed a 20 percent match, and that is no longer the case, freeing up the matching funds.
Roselli indicated that the county picked up the slack last year when the program faced budget shortfalls. The upcoming overall budget shortfall is slated at around $37,000.
Commissioner Mark McCracken stated that they needed to meet with all the stakeholders; Victim-Witness, Probation, the District Attorney’s Office and more. McCracken also asked her to check on the deadline for the grants.
“We’re not prepared to absorb this deficit yet,” said Commissioner Joan Robinson-McMillen. She pointed that due to federal and state cuts, other county offices will be facing budget shortfalls as well, and that the commissioners would like to see what they’re up against.
Commissioner Chair John Sobel praised Roselli’s office and the work they do. He said they agreed to fund the deficit a year ago because they were waiting on the unknown.
“I feel the taxpayers are overburdened in general,” said Sobel. “We can’t continue to pick up deficits due to state and federal funding.”
Roselli agreed to contact the stakeholders and put a meeting together between all involved.