The new law restores 16 million dollars in funding for 94 agencies that run domestic violence shelters around the state. Democratic Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg says because of the lack of funding several had to close down or reduce their hours. He called the measure a matter of life and death:
“By the legislature’s action and the governor’s signature, we are going to prevent more people from suffering and dying needlessly.”
The governor’s signature restores funding that he himself cut a few months ago. It was one of several cuts the Governor used his line-item veto authority to make when he signed the budget. He defended that decision as he signed the new bill:
“When the legislature sent me a budget that was not balanced, as a matter of fact ,it was in the hole by 145 dollars, I was forced to make very difficult decisions and cuts that for instance in programs like domestic violence shelters so that we could continue to provide basic services like fire-fighting.”
The money to keep shelters open will be borrowed from a state fund for alternative fuels and technology. The state will repay it within three years.