Assemblywoman Catharine Baker (R-San Ramon) announced, last week, that Governor Brown signed her bill, AB 1399, legislation increasing available resources for programs serving victims of domestic violence.
Programs helping victims of domestic violence provide essential, life-saving services to victims and their children. These programs have faced a significant funding shortfall in recent years. AB 1399 will help direct much-needed funding support for these programs through a donation option on California tax returns to the California Domestic Violence Fund. Tax filers can check off a box on their tax returns to contribute their own private funds in excess of their tax liability to organizations supporting victims of domestic violence.
“An increasing need for domestic violence programs throughout California has been met with a decrease in funding for these programs—leaving thousands of children and families without the support they need,” said Assemblywoman Baker. “Government can’t and shouldn’t do it all. AB 1399 efficiently increases the availability of vital resources by providing Californians with the opportunity to contribute to life-saving domestic violence programs.”
On just a single day in 2014, 1,216 requests for services from domestic violence victims went unmet in California, leaving thousands of individuals, children, and families without a safe place to stay or access to vital counseling and resources. Of those unmet needs, approximately 49% of programs report that victims return to their abuser, 37% report that victims become homeless, and 16% report that families end up living in their car.
AB 1399 received unanimous bipartisan support in both the Assembly and the Senate prior to being signed by the Governor.
Baker’s bill is supported by the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, the Center for Domestic Peace, the Alliance for Community Transformations, the Center for Community Solutions, Safe Alternatives to Violent Environments-SAVE, the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault, and Junior Leagues of California.
Baker represents the 16th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Alamo, Danville, Dublin, Lafayette, Livermore, Moraga, Orinda, Pleasanton, San Ramon, and Walnut Creek.