Lifeline Plan Would Include Funding For Domestic Violence Programs

Lifeline Plan Would Include Funding For Domestic Violence Programs

The stopgap budget that passed last summer did not include funding for domestic violence programs. However, new legislation is giving some agencies hope. Fox's Esther Kwon talked to a local shelter on Friday about the new temporary budget bill called the Lifeline Plan.

The Lifeline Plan is a stopgap budget that would give over $800 million to human service agencies and higher education through June. The legislation passed through the House on Thursday and now moves on to the Senate.

Unlike the stopgap budget that was passed last summer, this bill would provide funding for domestic violence programs in the state. The Sojourn Shelter is one of those programs in Springfield that served over 6,800 people just last year. The shelter's CEO said funding is critical, especially for 24-hour domestic violence shelters.

"Without us being able to have our doors open 24/7, 365, then anything could happen to these individuals," said CEO Angela Bertoni. "And unfortunately, domestic violence escalates really, really quickly. So it can go from something remotely innocent to death in a matter of a short period of time."

Bertoni said nearly 50% of the Sojourn Shelter's budget comes from the state. The shelter has not received any funding since June of last year. Bertoni said what's proposed in the Lifeline Plan is better than getting no funding at all, but it still only provides one third of their budget.

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