Assemblymember Chris Holden's AB 139 which strengthens penalties that abusers are required to pay to ensure more funding for Domestic Violence Shelters has been formally approved in the State Legislature following concurrence vote today in the Assembly. The measure now goes to the Governor for signature.
AB 139 clears up a technicality in order to provide more funds for local domestic violence shelters. The bill stipulates that those convicted of domestic violence must pay a minimum $500 fee – not a fine – after they are granted probation. This clarification is important because it would clear up confusion over the $500 payment and ensure funding for local domestic violence programs.
"Funding domestic violence shelters is critical. Clarifying the payment to be a fee would assist judges, collecting agencies and counties disburse the proper funding to the state and local shelters," said Assemblymember Holden.
AB 139 unanimously passed both Houses and received support from domestic violence shelters throughout the state, as well as various women's organizations.
California Partnership to End Domestic Violence worked closely with Holden's office on this legislation. "We are delighted with the unanimous passage of AB 139," said California Partnership interim executive director Kathy Moore. "This bill will ensure that the Legislature's intent to use these fees to support domestic violence agencies is carried out. We are very grateful to Assemblymember Holden for his leadership on this important issue."
Governor Brown now has 30 days to sign or veto AB 139. If signed, AB 139 would go into effect January 1, 2014.