08/07/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 08/07/2020 20:25
SACRAMENTO, CA- The Assembly Public Safety Committee passed a bill on Wednesday by Sen. Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) that will help ensure domestic violence services are accessible amid COVID-19.
Senate Bill 1276 will remove the 10 percent cash or in-kind matching requirement for state grants awarded to domestic violence programs that provide essential resources.
'It is critical that we provide some relief to our domestic violence shelters serving our most vulnerable populations. This change in policy is long overdue,' Sen. Rubio said. 'We anticipate that the ongoing social distancing requirements and economic downturn will continue to negatively impact the cash and in-kind resources available to domestic violence programs. Eliminating the match requirement can provide some flexibility and relief to programs providing essential services in our communities. I look forward to continue working with the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence to remove this provision once and for all.'
In addition to state requirements, domestic violence service providers must also meet match fund requirements for federal funding sources. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many domestic violence programs to cancel or delay annual fundraisers, stop accepting in-kind donations, and scale back or pause their volunteer programs. This has greatly reduced the number of resources available to meet match requirements and those resources that are available should instead be utilized in the way most needed by the provider.
Similar programs such as the Rape Victim Counseling Centers and Human Trafficking Victims Assistance do not mandate this matching fund service requirement.
The bill passed out of the Assembly Public Safety Committee with unanimous support.