June 16, 2016

Hirono, Senate Democrats Unveil Proposal To Boost Funding For Programs to Reduce and Respond to Hate Crimes, Community Conflict

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Today, Senate Democrats, led by Senator Mazie K. Hirono, Senator Tammy Baldwin, and Senator Barbara Mikulski unveiled an amendment to provide an additional $41 million to Department of Justice programs that prevent discrimination and hate crimes.

Introduced in response to the targeted attacks driven by hate against the LGBT and Latino communities in Orlando, the amendment would ensure the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and Office of Community Relations Service have the necessary resources to reduce conflict and prevent, investigate, and prosecute hate crimes throughout the country.

“Last weekend’s tragedy in Orlando should be a sobering moment for our country. It’s time to move beyond thoughts, prayer, and reflection. It’s time for action,” said Senator Hirono. “This massacre was not just an act of terror; it was a hate crime that took the lives of 49 innocent people far too soon. Our amendment provides emergency funding to prevent and mitigate future hate crimes that target vulnerable communities across the country. I would like to thank my friends Senator Mikulski and Senator Baldwin for working with me on this important amendment, and call on the Senate to adopt this amendment without delay.”

The Hirono-Baldwin-Mikulski amendment would help the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division to hire additional staff to enforce federal civil rights and hate crime laws. Additional funding would help the Office of Community Relations Service work with communities to reduce conflict after hate-related violence, bullying, and discrimination. Senator Hirono and Senate Democrats have also pushed for Congress to pass legislation to prevent suspected terrorists from purchasing firearms and explosives and fully fund the FBI to prevent domestic terror attacks.