Quigley Offers Amendment to Fund Life-Saving National Violent Death Reporting System
U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), who serves as a member of the House Appropriations Committee, offered an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill to fully fund the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS), a critical resource to provide a more comprehensive picture of the circumstances surrounding violent deaths. Rep. Quigley has offered an appropriations amendment to secure this funding every year for the past three years.
“Violent deaths are a grave public health concern in the United States, with over 58,000 Americans dying by homicide or suicide every year,” said Rep. Quigley. “The NVDRS provides a centralized hub of data from law enforcement, medical examiners, crime labs, and other sources, which help identify trends and save lives. By aggregating and analyzing this data, the public health research community can better study the circumstances that lead to violent death in our coummunities. Let’s fully fund the NVDRS so more states can join this life-saving program.”
Below are Rep. Quigley’s full remarks on the amendment, as prepared for delivery:
“My amendment is simple. It fully funds the National Violent Death Reporting System. NVDRS is a state-based system that centralizes information from a variety of sources such as law enforcement, medical examiners, crime labs, and death certificates to provide a more comprehensive picture of the circumstances surrounding violent deaths.
“Because violent deaths are a serious public health problem in the United States – Over 58,000 Americans die by homicide or suicide every year. But many violent deaths are preventable, and with the right information, we can find policy solutions to stop this unnecessary pain and suffering.
“The information we gain from collecting data on violent deaths is vital in helping the CDC identify trends and develop effective prevention strategies. By aggregating and analyzing this information, the public health research community can better study the circumstances that lead to violent death in our communities. This information empowers our public health officials and policymakers to design and implement targeted prevention efforts. And, it saves lives.
“Don’t just take my word for it – let’s use Kentucky as an example. Kentucky began participating in National Violent Death Reporting System in 2005. Their data indicated that among women killed by an intimate partner, only 39% had filed for a restraining order or been in contact with Adult Protective Services. This underscored a real need to improve outreach linking potential victims to local protective services.
“Kentucky has used the knowledge they’ve gained from this vital program to save women’s lives. Just think what it can do for your states and constituents.
“So far, the National Violent Death Reporting System has been implemented in 42 states, including my home state of Illinois. More states want to join this program, but can’t because of a lack of funding.
“In fact, several of you here represent states that were approved to join the National Violent Death Reporting System but were not able to with the funding levels in this bill. Florida, Tennessee, Texas, Mississippi, and West Virginia are all states that are being prevented from participating because of a lack of federal funding.
“With the $7.5 million dollar increase provided in my amendment, we can expand this critical program to the remaining 8 states and the District of Columbia.
“A vote in support of my amendment is a vote for valuable data that states and localities can use to take on violent crime. A vote in support of my amendment is a vote to save lives in your district.
“I urge a yes vote.”