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Lawmaker Has Plan To Save Domestic Violence Programs

San Francisco lawmaker says he’s found a way to steer money to domestic violence shelters hurt by state budget cuts.

The budget that lawmakers sent to Governor Schwarzenegger didn’t include a cash reserve. But the Governor said the state government needed one in case revenue continued to drop – so he decided to create a reserve by cutting another $400 million from state programs. But State Senator Leland Yee said axing $16 million intended for domestic violence shelters was a grave mistake.

“These moms and these children, if they are in need and we’re not doing anything for them, literally some of these moms will die,” Yee said. “It’s happened in the past and it will happen again if they have nowhere to turn, if no one’s going to help them out...”

Senator Yee – who’s a former child psychologist - wants to restore state funding for domestic violence prevention programs by shifting $16 million from a state fund for victims of violent crime. The San Francisco Democrat estimates the Victim’s Compensation Fund holds about $136 million. Yee said if he can get Republicans to support a bill he plans to introduce later this month, money for domestic violence shelters could be available in September.

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