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Monday, May 20, 2013

The California Partnership to End Domestic Violence believes that by sharing expertise,

advocates and legislators can end domestic violence. Every day we inspire, inform and

connect all of those working on this issue, because together we're stronger.

California Update

May has been another busy month here in Sacramento, as our priority bills have continued moving forward with strong support! May also marks several important policy deadlines for any legislation to continue moving forward this year. This Friday is the first appropriations deadline, and all bills must be voted on by their houses of origin by May 31st. Thankfully, three of the Partnership's four priority bills have already passed these hurdles, and we are confident that the remaining bill, AB 16 (Perez), will pass through Assembly Appropriations and the Assembly Floor. 

Employment Protections Bill Passes Senate -- Action Needed!Employment

The Partnership's employment protection bill successfully passed the Senate last Monday, and now heads to the Assembly to be heard in policy committees. SB 400 (Jackson) will protect survivors from termination or discrimination in the workplace due to their known status as survivors, and ensure that employers provide survivors with reasonable safety accommodations. The Partnership is co-sponsoring SB 400, along with the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center and CALCASA.


Thank you all for sending letters when the bill was in the Senate! We will need to demonstrate the same level of support in the Assembly. Click here for a template support letter. Please place this on your agency letterhead and fax it to the Partnership at (916) 444-7165.

Housing Bill Heard in the Assembly --
Action Needed! Hearing

The Partnership's housing bill has also successfully passed the Senate, by a vote of 38-0 earlier this month. With strong bipartisan support, the bill is now awaiting its Assembly Judiciary Committee hearing date. SB 612 (Leno), which the Partnership is co-sponsoring with the National Housing Law Project, will expand the list of permitted documentation for survivors seeking to terminate their leases to relocate for their safety. SB 612 also adds human trafficking survivors to those included under this provision.


Thank you all for sending letters when the bill was in the Senate! We will need to demonstrate the same level of support in the Assembly. Click here for a template support letter. Please place this on your agency letterhead and fax it to the Partnership at (916) 444-7165.

DV Fee Bill to be Heard in Senate Public Safety June 4th DVFee

AB 139 (Holden), which will improve the collection and distribution of Domestic Violence Probationer Fees, will be heard by the Senate Public Safety Committee on June 4th. AB 139 already passed through the Assembly with 74 votes in support, and without a single "no" vote.

AB 1107 -- Action Needed!AB1107

The Partnership is supporting AB 1107 (Garcia), which would increase options for low-income domestic violence victims with children by requiring that counties issue waivers of CalWORKs program requirements, as allowed by federal law, when that requirement would unfairly penalize a domestic violence survivor or make it more difficult to them escape abuse or place them at further risk of abuse and also establish a statewide process to notify applicants and recipients in

the CalWORKs program of the rights of domestic violence survivors to request these waivers.  

The bill is currently on the Assembly Appropriations Suspense file and support letters need to be submitted by this Wednesday May 22nd to demonstrate the importance of the bill. Click here for a sample letter. Please fax the completed letter to the Appropriations Committee at (916) 319-2181 and the Partnership at (916) 444-7165.  

Bill Aimed at Keeping Firearms out of the Hands of Prohibited Persons Signed Into LawBillAimed

This month SB 140 (Leno) was signed into law by Governor Brown. The bill will provide additional funding for law enforcement efforts to ensure that those individuals prohibited from possessing firearms under existing laws have surrendered their weapons as required by law. The list of current prohibited persons includes individuals subject to a domestic violence restraining order and those with certain domestic violence convictions. 

Governor's Budget May Revise ReleasedGovernorsBudget 

As many of you have already heard, the Governor released his updated budget proposal last week. California's budget has turned the corner from years of deep cuts, and the state's tax revenues have exceeding expectations. With this brighter outlook, both the Governor and Democratic Leadership in the Legislature are urging caution and drawing a firm line on increasing spending. The Governor has proposed to use most of the additional revenue for education and Democrats in the legislature are pushing for a "rainy day" fund and sustainability.

Federal Update
Immigration LegislationImmigration

Legislation related to immigration is a hot topic at both the state and federal level these days. Here in California, the TRUST Act (AB 4, Ammiano) passed the Assembly last week and is now headed to the Senate for deliberation.


At the federal level, the Senate Judiciary Committee is continuing to debate and "mark up" its Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill. Thank you all for signing on to the various letters - your voices have had an immediate impact! Last week, the sign-on letter was entered into the official record and mentioned by Senator Klobuchar (D-MN) as she introduced a positive amendment that helps abused spouses of those with non-immigrant visas (those here on work or education visas) by creating something similar to the VAWA self-petition for them to be able to get independent work authorization and legal status separate from the abusive spouse.  We will continue to call on you for support as new amendments are offered and the process moves forward. 

Affordable Care Act UpdatesAffordableCare

Tara Shabazz, the Partnership's executive director, continues to represent the Partnership as a member of a National workgroup convened by the Family Violence Prevention and Services Program and Futures Without Violence, to discuss the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Screening and Counseling for Domestic Violence and Intimate Partner Violence (DV/IPV). The letter available here includes important updates about this workgroup. 

Partnership News
Appellate Decision in Liston v Bowen to Be PublishedAppellate

The Partnership was pleased to sign on to the request for publication on this important decision. In the case, the court held that "any violation of a restraining order is very serious, and gives very significant support for renewal of a restraining order." The court also held that a trial court may properly conclude "where appropriate, that a party's litigation strategies and tactics are evidence of inappropriate behavior that provides grounds for a restraining order's renewal." The Family Violence Appellate Project predicts that this precedent will be very useful in refuting minimizations of RO violations, and in unmasking harassment perpetuated "under the guise of procedural equity" through litigation/paper abuse. Many thanks to the Family Violence Appellate Project and Bay Area Legal Aid for their work on this case!

California Update
Federal Update
Partnership News

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For questions or concerns about policy-related matters, please contact Krista Niemczyk, Partnership Public Policy Specialist, at