The State of California’s budget situation has been in terrible shape since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, despite nearly a decade of extraordinary fiscal prudence that resulted in consecutive years of budget surpluses. Together with the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, CALCASA began this year optimistic about our prospects for increased, ongoing funding to prevention, as well as an augmented investment on the part of the state in the critical intervention services that rape crisis centers and domestic violence programs provide. Unfortunately, these disastrous circumstances have required us to shift our advocacy efforts very quickly – to the tune of now needing to fight to preserve funding that was secured in the last budget cycle, and accepting the reality that new funding is simply not possible.
Yesterday, the legislature passed a budget that protects the $5 million in funding to sexual and domestic violence prevention for this fiscal year that Governor Newsom had planned to rescind. It is our hope that the Governor will sign this budget, and protect this small but important investment in safe and healthy communities across California. However, we also know that this budget may not be final even with the Governor’s signature, and that the State could be faced with tremendously difficult decisions farther down the road depending on what tax revenues look like, and whether the federal government will do its part to support state budgets that are suffering. We are committed to continue highlighting the needs of rape crisis centers and domestic violence programs in California, and will remain steadfast in our advocacy and collaboration with the legislature and Governor as this difficult process continues.