Democratic Lawmakers Try To Save State Domestic Violence Programs

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, October 5, 2009
Some democratic lawmakers are fighting cuts Governor Schwarzenegger made to domestic violence programs in the state budget. 

Capital Public Radio's Steve Shadley reports...
Anti-domestic violence advocates say the state budget cuts have forced six women’s shelters to close in California. 

Now, some lawmakers are trying to restore that money. 

Democratic Senator Leeland Yee of San Francisco says he’s reintroducing a bill that lawmakers killed last month. 

He says it would fully fund nearly 100 domestic violence shelters statewide...
Yee:  “This is something that is extremely important to families, victims lives, women’s lives. And so to that extent, whatever and however we can find an entrée into reintroducing it...we’re going to do it...”
Yee is confident he can get a vote on the bill during one of the current special legislative sessions. 

Assemblymember Fiona Ma, also a democrat from San Francisco, says a lot of states have cut domestic violence programs...and that has a trickle down effect...
Ma:   “And, so therefore the states have less money to give the cities and counties for these programs. So we’re all competing for the crumbs that are left, basically for whatever services are out there...”
Sue Else with the National Network to End Domestic Violence traveled to Sacramento to testify at a legislative hearing on the cuts this week. 

She says the recession is fueling the need for more domestic violence programs...
Else:  “If there’s a job loss or if there are problems in the home anyway then this economy will exacerbate that so more and more women are calling hotlines needing services at the same time more and more of these services have received cuts...”
Aaron McLear is Governor Schwarzenegger’s press secretary. 

He says the governor had to use his line-item veto in July to cut 16-million dollars for domestic violence programs to shrink the state’s massive deficit...
McLear:  “Now, if we could restore funding to this program, we absolutely would be willing to do so. But, at this point we can only spend the money we have and that’s why he had to make the vetoes to this program...”
And since it looks like lawmakers and the governor don't have that money...Moby the rock singer is getting involved.
Moby says he was shocked when he learned about the cuts and he’s vowed to donate proceeds from three upcoming California concerts to help the shelters stay open.