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Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden on Thursday signed legislation to replenish the Crime Victims Fund, which provides grants for victim services.

Why it matters: Biden noted in remarks prior to the signing that the fund was "depleted" in recent years and the VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act will give it a new source of revenue.

  • The bill saw widespread bipartisan support, with the Senate voting to pass the measure unanimously on Tuesday and the House passage in March, 384-38.

State of play: The Crime Victims Fund was created in 1984 by the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA).

  • Biden said Thursday that in 2019 the fund helped provide grants for 230,000 victims of abuse and gave money to "states, territories and tribes to support thousands of service organizations" for abuse victims.
  • "This fund doesn't take a dime of taxpayers' money. It uses fines and penalties paid for by convicted federal criminals," Biden said.

Yes, but: Fines from deferred prosecution and non-prosecution agreements did not previously supply money to the Victim Crimes Fund.

The big picture: The bill will also increase state compensation payments to victims by 15%, per the legislation.

  • Biden noted that money from the fund helps ameliorate the "economic costs" placed on victims of abuse, which can include "medical costs, lost productivity from work and navigating the court system," Biden said.

What they're saying: "When someone commits a crime, it's not enough to bring the predator to justice. We also need to support the victims," Biden said.

  • "This bill is going to allow us to make sure that all the fines and penalties that are from federal cases go into the crime victims fund to rebuild this fund, because it's badly needed."
  • "This is going to enable us to provide more help and support for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, trafficking, and other crimes, all across America."

Go deeper

Judge orders $150M in initial compensation for Surfside victims

People pray at the memorial to the victims of the collapsed 12-story Champlain Towers South condo building. Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

A judge said Wednesday that victims and families who suffered losses in the collapse of the oceanfront condo in Surfside, Florida, are entitled to a minimum of $150 million in initial compensation, AP reports.

Catch up quick: The June 24 collapse killed at least 97 people and led to several lawsuits, per an NBC affiliate. The National Institute of Standards and Technology is leading a federal investigation into the structural failure.

Republicans make moves on taxing Big Tech for broadband

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A trio of Senate Republicans introduced legislation Wednesday that would lay the groundwork to force Big Tech companies to pay fees to support broadband subsidy programs.

Why it matters: Republicans are increasingly looking to Big Tech to support a struggling subsidy fund that pays for internet access and deployment programs.

Bezos beats Branson in space billionaires' battle for attention

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Imtiyaz Shaikh (Anadolu Agency), Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Jeff Bezos' flight into space generated more interest from the public than Richard Branson's, and both billionaires overshadowed their respective space companies.

Why it matters: Data shows an outsized public interest in the personalities at the center of the space trips, compared to the companies behind them — which could reinforce public suspicion that the ventures were partly vanity plays.