In a last-ditch effort to pass the state's struggling budget, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has made a number of jaw-dropping cuts to health and human services programs to the tune of nearly $500 million. One move that has left many outraged has been the elimination of the state's Domestic Violence Program, cutting $16 million that would normally go to the state's 94 DV shelters. Shelter employees and volunteers, who say state funding is vital to the maintenance of DV-prevention programs, are reeling over the cuts. For example, Catalyst Domestic Services, based in Oroville, Calif., relies on state funding to account for about 35 percent of its operating budget, Executive Director Anastacia Snyder said in a report in the Oroville Mercury-Register. "We're still in shock," Snyder said Wednesday afternoon. "We were bracing for the 20 percent cut, but did not believe the governor could, with a clear conscience, cut 100 percent of funding for services that keep women and children safe and alive." Additional cuts, a full list of which can be found on CaliforniaProgressReport.com, include $50 million from the Healthy Families Program and $52 million from AIDS prevention. Schwarzenegger wielded his line-item veto power to make the cuts. California residents wishing to get involved in the fight against the cuts to the state's domestic violence shelter funding can go to StopFamilyViolence.org for more information.
Lindsay Eanet is an In These Times editorial intern and a journalism student at the University of Missouri.