Posted on August 25, 2015 at 7:07 am
The State Budget Process:
At the state level, the budget process appropriates money from various state funding streams and distributes it to state agencies and programs. The state budget includes a line item for funding domestic violence services, as well as a variety of other line items that support programs that serve survivors of domestic violence.
Each February, the Governor makes a budget proposal outlining the levels of funding the administration would like to see in the budget. This proposal is then passed on to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees which draft their own budget bills based on their own priorities.
Ultimately, the budget is introduced in the State House, and then sent to the Senate where it is usually modified and sent back and forth to the House for negotiation until the two chambers agree on a final budget bill.
The final budget agreement, in theory, must be reached by June 30th of each year.
Governor Wolf’s budget proposal provided an increase to the domestic violence line item that would result in an approximate 6% increase to statewide domestic violence funding.
Back in June, the legislature passed House Bill 1192, which also includes this increase but it was vetoed by the Governor. Since then our legislators have gone back to the drawing board with Governor Wolf but with no real movement on a compromise budget.
The state has been operating without a budget since July 1st. The stalemate has continued over a month and reports still indicate that the legislature is not close finding a compromise with the Governor.
It is imperative that our legislators come to an agreement and pass a budget that increases domestic violence funding so we can continue to provide the necessary services to our clients.
We need both our legislators and our Governor to pass a sustainable budget that supports increasing statewide domestic violence funding!
What Can You Do?
Find contact information for your Pennsylvania legislator on this website.
Also, reach out especially to local Appropriations Committee members:
Sample Script for Calls:
My name is ________ and I’m calling _________ (from Women Against Abuse – a domestic violence program in Philadelphia county; as a supporter of Women Against Abuse; from Philadelphia County; as a concerned citizen of Philadelphia; on behalf of the victims of domestic violence in Pennsylvania).
I’m calling to request that you support domestic violence funding in PA’s budget. Both the General Assembly and the Administration have a responsibility to fund services in PA that make safety a priority.
We know that you care about domestic violence victims in our community. Please pass a state budget that expands domestic violence services – and do so quickly - to ensure that we are able to sustain the current level of services for survivors of domestic violence. Thank you for your attention.