Hickenlooper makes plea to preserve domestic-violence funding

Author: Joey Bunch - August 13, 2018 - Updated: August 14, 2018

HickenlooperColorado Gov. John Hickenlooper stands with state emergency officials to talk about a spate of wildfires across the state in June. (Photo by Joey Bunch/Colorado Politics)

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is again making his views known to Washington, this time about domestic violence.

Hickenlooper has the White House on his mind these days as he considers whether to seek the Democratic nomination for president in 2020.

Congress left for its August recess without reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Congress reconvenes on Sept. 4, but the act must be reauthorized in the remaining 11 legislative days before VAWA expires on Sept. 30.

The measure could erupt in election-year politics. The bill is co-sponsored in the House by 104 Democrats and no Republicans. When he was a senator in 2013, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions opposed the bill, and it would be his Department of Justice tasked with carrying out the program, if Democrats can reauthorize it.

In a letter addressed to congressional leaders Monday, Hickenlooper urged reauthorization the act that first passed in 1994 and was last reauthorized in 2013. Its grant programs help victims and to bring abusers to justice, the governor’s office said.

Colorado received more than $2.1 million from the program this year alone, including training for nurses, law enforcement and prosecutors, as well as direct victims services.

“The safety of our communities requires continued investment to protect those who may fall victim to sexual and intimate partner violence,” Hickenlooper’s letter states. “We ask that you to work across the aisle to reauthorize this law in order to protect millions of women and their families in Colorado and throughout the country.”

You can read the full letter by clicking here.

Last year Hickenlooper urged leaders in Washington to pass a bipartisan fix to the Affordable Care Act, and he tried again in March.

Last month he urged the White House to scuttle a plan to more closely regulate women’s health services to make sure federal money isn’t supporting abortion services.

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.