We need YOUR advocacy to ensure support for survivors in the Conference Committee Budget!
June 12, 2018
We need your advocacy to ensure the best outcome in the Conference Committee budget! Calls to your State Representatives and Senators needed!
Our request is two-fold: funding for sexual and domestic violence services and safe communities provisions for immigrants.
The Budget Conference Committee has been appointed (scroll to bottom for list of members) and is currently working on reconciling the House and Senate budgets to send one final FY2019 budget to the Governor for signing. This work among the Conferees is happening now so...
Please contact your legislators and ask that they advocate with the budget conference committee to include Senate budget language and amounts for 4513-1130 and for Safe Communities provisions as in the Senate budget version. If your legislator is on the Conference Committee, please call them ASAP to ask that they support this request!
- We are thankful to the House and Senate for preserving and increasing access to critical S/DV services in the FY19 budget. We appreciate the difficult budget decisions that are made each year and are grateful that the Legislature recognizes the need to support survivors. (See budget chart for details.)
- DPH 4513-1130: Support the Senate budget language and funding amount for DV and SA Prevention and Treatment Services at $37,286,883
We appreciate the efforts by both branches of the Legislature to increase funding for critical services in the FY19 budget. The Senate budget includes an overall $3m increase for Rape Crisis Centers ($1m) and Domestic Violence Community Based programs ($2m).
This new funding will help ALL Massachusetts communities, as local RCCs and DV programs will be able to meet more needs of sexual and domestic violence survivors in cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth:
- Increase the # of advocates who can answer hotlines, provide one-on-one support, help access housing, medical and legal needs, and more.
- Increase capacity for local programs to participate on sexual assault response teams, local high-risk teams, and other multidisciplinary groups that are identifying gaps and changing systems.
- Provide additional language capacity to meet the diverse needs of communities.
- Expand capacity of culturally specific services, including access for LGBQ/T and immigrant victims and survivors.
- Increase outreach and education, as well as prevention education, in schools and communities.
- JDI and our membership have consistently and strongly opposed any earmarks within the line items for which we advocate. In particular, current proposed earmarks targeted to funding law enforcement agencies are not an appropriate fit for the Dept of Public Health line item.
- The Senate adopted critical protections for immigrants in their final budget, in line with legislation that Jane Doe Inc. and our members have supported for many years. For immigrant survivors of sexual and/or domestic violence, the barriers and challenges to accessing supports and services are enormous, and anticipated local law enforcement collaboration with ICE is already having a chilling effect. Policies that blur the lines between immigration enforcement and community law enforcement endanger the safety of victims of sexual and domestic violence, their families, and communities.
- Programs funded through all of these line items have been proven to save and rebuild lives and reduce long term costs each day through prevention programs, 24 hour hotline services, emergency shelter, legal and medical advocacy, rape crisis counseling, SANE response, high-risk assessment and response, services for immigrants and refugees and LGBQ/T focused services.
Thank you for your ongoing advocacy for survivors in the Commonwealth!
BUDGET CONFERENCE COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
Senator Karen Spilka (Chair, Senate Ways and Means)
Senator Joan Lovely(Vice Chair, Senate Ways and Means)
Senator Vinny deMacedo (Senate Ways and Means member)
Representative Jeffrey Sanchez(Chair, House Ways and Means)
Representative Stephen Kulik(Vice Chair, House Ways and Means)
Representative Todd Smola (House Ways and Means)