Last year, advocacy organizations, legislators, and voters fought hard to keep the Georgia Commission on Family Violence alive. This year, their continued existence is being threatened again. The Commission provides valuable services for the state such as certifying all of the state's batterer's intervention programs. We cannot afford to have the power over certification moved to another state agency without a thorough knowledge of domestic violence and the tactics of control that batterers use.
The Georgia Senate budget recommendation that was just released shows that the Commission is in danger of having its funding zeroed out, which means that the Commission would cease to exist as of July 1 of this year. Their fate now rests in the hands of the 3 Representatives and 3 Senators on the budget conference committee that will work out the differences between the House and Senate budget bills. Please call or email these conferees, as well as the Lieutenant Governor and the Speaker of House, to ask them to Agree with the House’s FY 2011 Budget Recommendation for the Commission.
The talking points and contact info distributed by the Commission are as follows (note that the talking points are slightly different for the House and the Senate):
Rep. Jerry Keen: Phone: 404.656.5052 email@example.com
Rep. Jan Jones: Phone: 404.656.5072 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Ben Harbin: Phone: 404.463.2247 email@example.com
Speaker of the House David Ralston: Phone: 404.656.5020
House Talking Points: Thank you for working to preserve the Commission on Family Violence, by moving its funding to the Judicial Council. Please stand strong on this position in the conference committee - maintaining this position is vital for victims of domestic violence in Georgia.
Sen. Jack Hill: Phone: (404) 656-5038 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Chip Rogers: Phone: (404) 463-1378 email@example.com
Sen. Tommie Williams: Phone: (404) 656-0089 firstname.lastname@example.org
Lt. Governor Casey Cagle: Phone: (404) 656-5030 FAX: (404) 656-6739
Senate Talking Points: It is crucial that the Senate agree with the House recommendation for the Commission on Family Violence in the FY11 budget -- to move the funding for the Commission to the Judicial Council. The Commission on Family Violence is the only state agency committed to this issue, and has helped to dramatically reduce Georgia's domestic violence homicide rate. If the Senate's recommendation were to prevail, the good work of the Commission would be lost. We urge you to preserve this vital agency by agreeing with the House recommendation for the Commission on Family Violence for FY11.