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The California Chapter of the National Organization for Women (California NOW) announced today that they will be waging a very public campaign to call on Governor Brown to remove the provision in the budget bill that eliminates domestic violence enforcement mandates from police officers and departments.

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Current law requires mandatory response to domestic abuse calls, mandatory recording of those calls to emergency personnel, mandatory maintenance records of protection orders and mandatory incident reports. Governor Brown obviously believes domestic violence isn’t important enough to warrant mandates to ensure enforcement of those laws. That’s why, in the middle of night, he changed all of those acts from mandatory to optional, by changing the word in the penal code from “shall” to “may.”

California NOW President, Patricia Bellasalma stated, “California NOW has been fighting the governor’s office for more than two years and it’s getting old. We’ve been told repeatedly that he doesn’t like waiting, that democratic processes which are open and transparent are a waste of time and that he admires the autocratic Chinese government because they “get shit done.” Well what the Governor seems incapable of understanding is when there is no process, “shit” is exactly what gets done.”

Bellasalma continued, “This isn’t the first time we’ve had issues with the governor trying to change laws impacting women in this state through the use of rushed legislation. During the last budget cycle, a trailer bill sought to eliminate sex/gender from outcome measures tied to health inequities. That’s right - he didn’t care about unequal health outcomes for women, but we fought back and won.”

This latest attempt to destroy police mandates demonstrates a fundamental lack of a moral compass that no amount of philosophical reading can cure. California NOW has been calling for transparency and accountability in state government for exactly this reason. Governor Brown cannot be trusted to protect women’s health and safety. The Legislature and Governor Brown must do more than just restore the Domestic Violence statutes; they must prove they deserve women’s trust by - at a minimum - enacting a three day delay before a vote statute that includes the budget.”

As Sacramento County District Attorney, Jan Scully, made clear in her statement yesterday regarding this issue, “These amendments undermining domestic violence laws and victims’ rights have been buried in this collection of mismatched laws because these changes would not survive if exposed to the light of public debate.”

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California NOW will be calling on women across the state to contact Governor Brown’s office to demand that he veto AB 76 so that he isn’t responsible for taking California back more than two decades in the fight to break the cycle of domestic violence.



Patty Bellasalma

California Chapter of the National Organization of Woment

Press Release

Issued June 22, 2013