Assembly Democratic Budget Committee members Eliana Pintor Marin and Elizabeth Maher Muoio on Wednesday questioned the Christie administration’s commitment to critical women’s issues, such as domestic violence, during a hearing on the proposed FY 2018 budget for the Department of Children and Families (DCF).
“Once again, the Governor has proposed cuts in funding for the Division on Women, specifically for domestic violence. It’s disappointing that every year we have to fight the administration to include this critical funding, especially when you consider that in 2015, the last year statistics are available, there were 62,659 incidents of domestic violence reported to police and 49 domestic violence homicides, the largest number since 2008.
“Meanwhile, the administration has increased resources for the batterer’s intervention program. While this definitely needs to be addressed if we hope to see long-term improvements on the domestic violence front, there’s obviously a clear and pressing need in the immediacy to protect the women and children who are victims of this violence.
“Based on his repeated funding patterns, the Governor just doesn’t seem to get this,” said Pintor Marin (D-Essex).
“Beyond the continued funding fight for women’s services, there’s also a tremendous void that speaks volumes about the Governor’s commitment to women.
“There has not been a director in place for the Division on Women since it moved to DCF several years ago because the Governor’s office has not nominated anyone.
“Furthermore, according to Commissioner Blake, the NJ Advisory Commission on the Status of Women has not met as long as she’s held her post because not enough members have been confirmed to comprise a quorum.
“It’s clear that the administration has turned its back on these proven needs and it’s extremely disappointing,” said Muoio (D-Mercer/Hunterdon).