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PUBLIC POLICY UPDATE
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Inform~Inspire~Connect

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.

The legislature reconvened from recess earlier this month, and committees are working to make their way through the 1,000+ pending bills that remain. It will be a busy few weeks before the legislature adjourns for the year on September 13th. 

 Select Committee Hearingselect

Earlier this week the Partnership participated in a very successful hearing organized by the Assembly Domestic Violence Select Committee. The hearing centered on the broad range of services provided by domestic violence programs and the ways that a $60 million court budget augmentation can be used to meet the needs of survivors. In addition to Krista Niemczyk speaking on behalf of the Partnership, several of our members testified: Alison Tudor of Valley Crisis Center; Anastacia Snyder of Catalyst Domestic Violence Services; Rachael Langston with the Legal Aid Society - Employment Law Center; and Jocelyn Bayne of the Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Coalition in Grass Valley. A special thanks to all of our speakers for taking time out of their busy schedules to attend!  You can watch the full hearing online here. This hearing was just the first event the committee will hold. Plans are already being made for in-district hearings within the communities several committee members represent.

SB 612 Signed into Law! sb612

On Monday Governor Brown signed SB 612 (Leno). The bill expands the list of permitted documentation for survivors seeking to terminate their leases to relocate for their safety, and also adds human trafficking survivors to those included under this provision. SB 612 made it through the legislature without a single "no" vote, a tremendous sign of its bipartisan nature. Thank you all for sending in your support letters throughout the process! This is the first of Partnership's 2013 priority bills to be signed by the Governor, and we hope to be celebrating more victories soon. 

Budget Updatesbudget
  • AB 81 (DV Mandates) - Pending action by the Governor. If signed, AB 81 will restore several mandates on law enforcement's response to domestic violence that were removed by a state budget trailer bill in June. This bill was sent to the Governor on August 15th and he has until August 27th to sign or veto the bill. Thank you to everyone who has sent in their support letter; click here for a template if you have not already sent yours in.

  • Federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Funding - NNEDV has received confirmation that FY 2013 VOCA state victims assistance grants increased $45.5 million (12%) over FY 2012. There were several factors contributing to this increase: the VOCA cap was not subject to sequestration; the cap increased from $705 million to $730 million; and state compensation grants declined. This is good news for victim services across the country. Here in California the increase will not only help in the short-term, but will strengthen long-term funding stability by increasing the reserve funds at Cal OES. As you may remember, Cal OES has used some of its reserves to ensure that shelter grants were not cut this year after the sequestration cuts to FVPSA and VAWA funding. Cal OES will also use a portion of the increased 2013 VOCA funds for a victim service focused on human trafficking.  
Status of Other Priority and Tracked Billsstatus
  • AB 16 (Perez) - Senate Appropriations Suspense File. AB 16 closes a loophole in existing domestic violence law by adding to the list of offenders that can be charged with felony domestic violence an offender that is the victim's fiancé or fiancée, or person with whom the defendant currently has, or previously had, a dating or engagement relationship. The suspense file will be taken up on or before August 30th.

  • SB 400 (Jackson) - Assembly Appropriations Suspense File. This bill 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 suspense file will be taken up on or before August 30th.

  • AB 139 (Holden) - Pending action by the Governor. This bill was sent to the Governor on August 15th and he has until August 27th to sign or veto the bill. Thank you to everyone who has sent in their support letter; here click for a template if you have not already sent yours in. AB 139 will improve the collection and distribution of Domestic Violence Probationer Fees.

  • TRUST Act (AB 4, Ammiano) - Pending a vote by the full Senate. The TRUST Act sets a clear statewide standard for local governments' participation in the federal government's controversial "Secure Communities" (S-Comm) deportation program.
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For questions or concerns about policy-related matters, please contact Krista Niemczyk, Partnership Public Policy Specialist, at krista@cpedv.org.