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California Restores Domestic Violence Shelter Funding

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill Wednesday restoring the $16.3 million in funds for domestic violence shelters that he originally cut from the state’s budget with a line-item veto in July. The new law creates a temporary source of funding for shelters by diverting the money from the state’s alternative fuel and technology fund, to which the government must repay the money by June 2013, reports the New York Times.

The July budget cut forced six shelters to close and many others to cut their staff and hours, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. It also drew criticism from activist groups and celebrities. Musician Moby helped bring publicity to the crisis by announcing he would donate the proceeds from his summer concerts in California to state shelters. In the wake of the funding restoration, pacifist group CodePink canceled a planned demonstration called “A Walk in Her Shoes” and is instead turning its focus to securing permanent funding for shelters.

State Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) introduced the bill to restore shelter funding, reports the Daily Californian. His chief of staff, Adam Keigwin, told the paper that the safety provided by shelters helps lower the costs of health care and law enforcement. “This is also a life and death situation. These programs could save lives, and it’s unconscionable that anyone would want to get rid of it,” he said.

Sources:

New York Times 10/21/09; San Francisco Chronicle 10/15/09, Seattle University Spectator 10/21/09; Daily Californian 10/22/09