2023 Community Violence Intervention Legislative Year in Review
Reflecting on a year of hurdles and milestones as we work to uplift community-led change.
2023 saw an impressive focus on community violence intervention in the state legislative landscape.
At least 68 bills nationwide concentrated on CVI work.1 These efforts resulted in enhanced funding and reinforced support for CVI programs, indicating a widespread acknowledgment of the crucial role violence intervention strategies play in creating safer communities. Major financial investments in CVI represent a critical stride in saving lives from gun violence, highlighting the profound effect that focused legislative action can have.
Alongside these positive legislative developments, the year also presented its share of challenges, as a number of bills encountered obstacles in the legislative process, reflecting the inherent complexities and difficulties of creating lasting change. Despite these hurdles, CVI has stood out as a top priority in gun safety legislation, and this year we saw a strong commitment from many states.
To stay updated on the progress of CVI legislation nationwide, explore CVI-PATH, our legislative tracker, for comprehensive insights and updates.
Various states took decisive action to strengthen their approaches to community violence, showcasing a collective effort to advance CVI. Here are some key highlights from the year:
- Twelve states appropriated $363 million through legislation to CVI-focused efforts nationwide.
- New York (SB 580) and Colorado (SB 2) joined a growing number of states expanding their Medicaid programs to allow violence intervention and prevention providers to bill for their services. In contrast, Indiana saw similar legislation fail, while in Massachusetts, it still awaits action.
- California and Connecticut implemented innovative policies for funding CVI work, with California taxing the gun industry to raise an estimated $160 million annually to support violence prevention programs and Connecticut authorizing state bond proceeds to generate $12 million for grants addressing community violence.
- New Jersey codified the Division of Violence Intervention and Victim Assistance (AB 4978) within the Office of the Attorney General to advance a unified, trauma-informed infrastructure for victim assistance and violence intervention services. Meanwhile, North Carolina and South Carolina introduced legislation to establish their own offices of violence prevention, with the bills currently pending.
- In Maryland, several CVI-focused bills failed, including AB 974, S 598, and S 833, which sought to allocate millions for lifesaving initiatives, underscoring the urgent need for broader support of advocacy efforts.
Looking back at 2023, it’s critical that we celebrate the legislators who advocated for community-led approaches to reducing violence, along with the states that made significant investments in this work. The states listed below have exemplified outstanding leadership in CVI, establishing benchmarks for impactful and lifesaving contributions in the field.
California emerged as a leader in innovative state policies for CVI this year with the introduction of a first-of-its-kind policy through AB 28, an excise tax on manufacturers and dealers of firearms and ammunition to fund violence intervention and prevention efforts. This tax is poised to generate $160 million annually, $75 million of which will go to fund the state’s Violence Intervention and Prevention (CalVIP) grant program.
Illinois achieved the highest CVI score in the nation this year, recognized for its comprehensive approach that includes sustainable funding, well-defined violence prevention offices, strategic planning, targeted non–law enforcement resources, inclusive decision-making, worker support, and dedicated survivor assistance.
New Jersey employed creative funding strategies by allocating $5 million from its cannabis revenue fund to support CVI efforts across the state. This complements the state’s $10 million appropriation for the Community-Based Violence Intervention (CBVI) grant program. In FY24, CBVI will aid 29 community programs across New Jersey focusing on prevention and intervention tactics to reduce community violence.
New York has been at the forefront of the nation this year for enacting CVI-related legislation. Notable achievements include allocating approximately $96 million from various federal sources for CVI initiatives (A 3003), bolstered by an additional $500,000 from state budgetary funds (S 4000), and seeking federal approval to allow reimbursement for violence prevention services through the state’s Medicaid program (S 580). Additionally, New York was one of the few states to expand their programming, supplementing their SNUG program with a substantial $30 million investment.
TRACKING CVI LEGISLATION
Community violence intervention is a crucial approach to fighting gun violence. Keep up to date on the latest CVI legislation in your state with the Giffords Community Violence Intervention Policy Analysis & Tracking Hub—CVI-PATH.Read More
Interventions are most effective when they are supported by strong community networks. Sign up for Giffords Center for Violence Intervention’s newsletter to learn more about what’s happening in the field, relevant legislation, and funding opportunities.
- 58 of these bills met our inclusion criteria and 10 were identified as companion bills.