The California state legislature voted yesterday to restore funding to domestic violence shelters, which had been entirely cut from Governor Schwarzenegger’s July budget. This comes on the heels of State Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) teaming up with popular musician Moby to raise awareness on how the cuts harm the state’s vulnerable women and children.
Moby had promised to contribute $85,000 in proceeds from three shows in California to make up for the $16 million budget shortfall impacting domestic violence shelters. Proceeds will go to the SOS Fund established by the California Partnership to End Violence. Already, six shelters have closed and many more are facing reductions in staff and services and possible closure.
Though Schwarzenegger’s spokesman Aaron McLear says the governor will not veto the Senate’s bill, he adds that the Senate will need to identify a permanent source of funds for the shelters. “The legislature handed us a budget that was still a billion dollars in the red and we had to make hard decisions.”
While I applaud Sen. Lee and Moby for pressing the CA Senate to do the right thing, it is extremely unfortunate that it took the threat of a musician funding domestic violence shelters to move the legislature to action.
Groups across the state have been fighting for women and children’s rights for years, and the government must support their efforts. And let’s not forget all the other cuts to state services including health care, child welfare programs, services for the elderly, money for state parks and the list goes on. Let’s see if the state legislature will have the courage to restore the entire half billion dollar in cuts, without Moby’s help.