Last year I was proud to author Senate Bill 1299, a measure designed to simplify the administration of crime victim compensation program in California. Our hope was to help create an efficient system to ensure that those who have already been victims in their lives are not revictimized by the state, being made to jump through hoops to get the counseling and compensation they need and rightfully deserve.
The bill sailed out of both houses without a single "no" vote.I am happy to say this was a cause the often-divided Legislature was able to rally around in a bipartisan fashion, as the bill sailed out of both houses without a single “no” vote.
Developed in cooperation with victim support groups and the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board, SB 1299 makes several important changes in the administration of compensation for crime victims.
First, it clarifies the law to specifically allow for a social worker to file on behalf of a victim of child abuse or elder abuse who is unable to file on his or her own. It also allows for-profit providers to provide mental health services to victims and adds mental health care to the list of services for which the Board will reimburse costs within 90 days of a claim.
|SB 1299 increased the CalVCP application filing period threefold.|
It is amazing how quickly a year can pass by as you deal with trauma and complex emotions in the immediate aftermath of a crime, meaning those most in need of these services are the same people who could miss the opportunity to file for redress under the previous shorter deadline.
My thanks to the VCGCB, Crime Victims United of California and our many partners for working with me to remove obstacles to needed care for California crime victims. It is my great hope that our compensation system will become a model of fairness and excellence which is replicated nationwide.
Senator Roderick D. Wright was elected to the California State Senate in 2008, representing what was then the 25th District, and re-elected in 2012 to the 35th District. Senator Wright was appointed to chair the Governmental Organization Committee and has been recognized for his work in the areas of public safety, education, energy and utilities, small business, family law and consumer privacy. He has also been voted legislator of the year by the County of Los Angeles, the California Small Business Association, the Municipal Power Association and the California Probation Officers Association.