House restores full funding of Alicia’s Law
On Thursday afternoon, Del. Mark Sickles (D-Franconia) introduced a budget amendment that restores full funding for the critically important Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Act. The budget amendment was necessary to restore $1.3 million in funds raised by the $10 court fee imposed on those convicted of misdemeanor and felony crimes. Del. Sickles was joined in Richmond by Alicia Kozakiewicz, the woman for whom the law is named.
“This program is essential for finding and prosecuting the most horrendous crimes imaginable,” said Del. Sickles. “My good friend and former Del. Brian Moran (D-Alexandria) successfully brought this legislation to us a few years ago. If you know Richmond at all, you know it is a testament to his ability and determination that any new fee could be enacted, even one on convicted criminals. It would be wrong to use this dedicated money for other purposes, and I thank my colleagues today, on both sides of the aisle, for restoring the full amount.”
Subsequent to Alicia’s introduction in the House gallery, Republican leaders called for a recess to work on substitute language to restore the funds. The amendment was offered by Del. Robert Bell (R-Albermarle) and instructs the Governor to spend all the dedicated funds intended for this purpose, subject to further reporting. The amendment passed on a unanimous 100-0 vote.
Alicia Kozakiewicz was 13 years old when she was abducted from her home in Pittsburgh, Penn., and brought to Virginia. She was held in a basement, tortured, and endured unspeakable terror for four days. Since that time, she has advocated for the passage and ongoing support of Alicia’s Law.