SACRAMENTO /California Newswire/ — Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today signed SBX3 13 by Senator Elaine Alquist (D-San Jose) to restore $16.3 million of state funding to support California domestic violence shelters. “I want to congratulate the many groups that put victims first and came together to find this creative solution that will keep domestic violence shelters throughout the state open,” said Governor Schwarzenegger.
“I am proud to sign this bipartisan legislation that is good news for every Californian whose life is devastated by violence in the home and will help ensure domestic violence victims have a safe place to go. And, I encourage the legislature to continue looking for a permanent funding solution for this important program so domestic violence shelters aren’t faced with the same uncertainty next year.”
By failing to pass a balanced budget that fell $1 billion short of what legislative leaders had agreed to, the legislature forced the Governor to cut funding for programs he never had proposed cutting, including funding for domestic violence shelters. Since the budget was signed the Governor’s Administration has been working to restore funding to this important program and will continue to work for a permanent funding solution.
SBX3 13 provides for a one-time $16.3 million loan from the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Fund to fund domestic violence shelters statewide for the 2009-10 fiscal year. The loan will be repaid with interest at the rate earned by the Pooled Money Investment Account by June 30, 2013.
Governor Schwarzenegger has previously enacted legislation to enhance protections for victims of domestic violence. In 2006, the Governor signed AB 2169 extending the Safe at Home Project run by the Secretary of State until 2013; AB 2129 requiring that persons who are subject to a protective order involving harassment, witness or victim intimidation and elder or dependent adult abuse be required to relinquish any firearms within 24 hours of being served with a protective order; AB 2139 requiring a law enforcement officer who responds to a domestic violence situation, in which they believe an emergency protective order may be appropriate, to tell the victim that they may request an emergency protective order from the officer; and, SB 585 allowing law enforcement to confiscate firearms from individuals served with a protective order instead of waiting 24 hours. To raise awareness of this horrible crime, the Governor also proclaimed October 2009 as “Domestic Violence Awareness Month.”
Additionally, the state is continuing its effort to make crime victims better informed about the custody of their offenders and today the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) Office of Victim and Survivor Rights announced crime victims can now register for a new, automated database that will provide real-time updates and information. The new database is being created by CDCR with the assistance of a federal grant awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance within the U.S. Department of Justice. For more information or how to register, please visit www.cdcr.ca.gov/News/2009_Press_Releases/Oct_21_Database.html.