Life-saving funding

Life-saving funding

Brown signs Holden’s domestic violence shelter bill

By André Coleman 08/26/2013

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Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed into law a bill authored by Assembly member Chris Holden that increases penalties against abusive partners, money that will be used to help fund domestic violence shelters.   

“I am grateful to the governor for signing this important bill that will help make resources available to women and children fleeing violent situations,” the Pasadena Democrat said in a prepared statement. “The nation’s first modern women’s shelter opened in my district in Pasadena in 1964, offering a refuge for women who had been physically and emotionally abused. Fully funding domestic violence shelters such as Haven House is critical and provides a safety net for those who live in fear.”

Haven House was founded by members of Alcoholics Anonymous who saw the need for a safe haven for family members of physically abusive alcoholics. Since that time, thousands of battered women and children have found shelter through Haven House.

The bill was among two dozen new bills signed into law by Governor Brown on Monday. 

Holden’s bill — AB 139, which goes into effect Jan. 1 — forces those convicted of domestic violence to pay a minimum $500 fee after they are granted probation. That money is used to fund local domestic violence programs like Haven House.

Holden authored the bill after a California State Audit that analyzed the distribution of payments used to support domestic violence shelters found that many counties were being shortchanged due to the confusion about whether the payments were classified as fees or fines.

Holden’s bill removes that technicality and designates the funds as a fee. 
AB 139 unanimously passed both the Assembly and the state Senate, receiving support from domestic violence shelters throughout the state, as well as various women’s organizations. 

“This much-needed legislation will ensure that local domestic violence centers get the funding they need to continue their life-saving work. We thank Assembly member Holden for his vision and leadership in bringing this bill forward,” said Kathy Moore, interim executive director of the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence.

“The Partnership and all our statewide members are thrilled at the passage of AB 139,” Moore said. 

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