Assemblyman Cameron Smyth issued the following statement regarding Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposed budget, which provides no funding for domestic violence programs in California:
“It’s disappointing that after the hard work that we did last year to restore funding for domestic violence programs, we are back to square one. Once again, the Governor has proposed a complete elimination of funding for these critical services.
I understand the magnitude of the deficit we are facing, but getting rid of these effective programs is shortsighted because it ultimately results in additional healthcare and law enforcement costs to the state. I hope the Governor will again work with us to ensure that domestic violence programs receive funding.”
“Last year, I co-authored legislation with Senator Leland Yee to make sure that domestic violence centers throughout California were able to continue providing services. Despite the $16.3 million that we secured, many shelters were forced to close their doors or cut back the services they provide. Further erosion of these support systems for domestic violence victims is unthinkable.”
“Domestic violence shelters throughout the state have already been forced to close or relocate, and we’ve seen the tragedies that result when victims of domestic violence are unable to get help. Last week, in my district, we saw our first domestic violence-related death, which underscores the importance of the services that these centers provide. It is critical that we keep California’s domestic violence centers open, accessible, and sufficiently staffed.”
“As we head into another difficult budget year, one of my top priorities will be getting the Republican caucus to engage on this issue. Protecting victims of domestic violence should not be a partisan issue. I am committed to fighting for domestic violence funding restoration, and I am eager to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle.”