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State Senate passes funding bill for domestic violence centers

Smyth leads bipartisan effort to restore program after budget cuts

Posted: October 14, 2009 2:23 p.m.
Updated: October 14, 2009 3:02 p.m.
 
SACRAMENTO - The California State Senate has passed Senate Bill 13xxx, giving approval for the Domestic Violence Program to take a $16.3 million loan from the Alternative and Renewal Fuel and Vehicle Technology Fund.

The bill, strongly advocated for by Assemblyman Cameron Smyth (R-Santa Clarita), provides local domestic violence shelters with the vital funds to continue providing services to the community.

The Legislature had allocated $16.3 million for the program, but it was eliminated completely by the governor as one of his line-item vetoes in late July.

The Assembly passed SB 13xxx at the end of session in September, but it was one of several bills that failed to receive the necessary two-thirds vote in the Senate.

The Senate reconvened in special session today to address federal education grants, but also took up several of the items that failed to pass in September.

"Today is a great day for the future of domestic violence programs and shelters throughout California," Smyth said. "Passing this legislation ensures that these shelters will continue providing critical services to victims of domestic violence. This is truly the highlight of our legislative year."

The Domestic Violence Program funds allow local agencies to provide emergency shelter, transitional housing and legal advocacy, as well as assistance with restraining orders, counseling and other vital support services.

"I'm glad that the Senate stepped up and did what was necessary," Smyth said. "Eliminating these programs was shortsighted because it ultimately results in additional health care and law enforcement costs to the state.

"This is a creative solution that requires no new money, yet still ensures services will be available for those who need them most."

SB 13xxx will now be sent to Governor Schwarzenegger for his signature.

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