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Schwarzenegger's Budget Cuts to Domestic Violence Has Closed 6 Shelters So Far

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Photo by Nathalie_Renaud via Flickr

Photo by Nathalie_Renaud via Flickr
State Parks are not closing after all, but at least six domestic violence shelters around the state have closed due to a small, but devastating budget cut by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger over the summer. That's according to the Domestic Violence Center of the Santa Clarita Valley, which came close to being the seventh such closure.

With half of their funding cut, the center asked for the community's help and received some, but still was forced to layoff employees and find a new office location. The shelter home will not move, but the office will open next week in Valencia Industrial Center near Magic Mountain.

“I’m very pleased that the community responded positively to our request for a new home and that we are able to continue providing necessary domestic violence services to those in need at our new location," said Mary Ree, the center's Board President, in a statement. "Our 24-hour hotline, counseling programs and outreach services, such as our teen and bi-lingual programs, are an integral part of the social fiber of Santa Clarita and it is our mission to continue providing these services."

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When the state legislature turned in a budget this Summer, Schwarzenegger used his vetoing powers to slash 100 percent, a little over $16 million, of funding for domestic violence programs. For Santa Clarita, that meant an immediate $200,000 loss, nearly half of their annual funding. In 2008, the center served over 1,000 victims of domestic violence.

The budget cut came as the center was dealing with a murder-suicide that left one woman dead. Soon after, a teenage girl was killed in her bed, allegedly by her boyfriend. Reacting to the cuts and recent violence, Assemblyman Cameron Smyth (R-Santa Clarita) co-authored a bill to restore the funding immediately.