TRENTON – Acting to protect New Jersey programs supported by the federal Violence Against Women Act from losing all funding, Senate President Pro Tempore Nia Gill and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg have introduced legislation that would provide bridge funding until Congress reauthorizes VAWA. House Republicans refused to renew the landmark law during the 112 Congressional session, jeopardizing the $5.8 million the state and other entities receive in support of programs that protect women against sexual assault, domestic violence and intimidation.
Introduced on Monday, the legislation, entitled the “VAWA Bridge Act,” would set aside up to $1 million for the Department of Law and Public Safety.
“The refusal of House Republicans to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act jeopardizes the ability of programs in New Jersey to continue to provide important services to protect women against acts of violence,” said Senator Gill (D-Essex/Passaic). “Without the VAWA grants, programs could be forced to close their doors after the First of March when their funding will run dry. This appropriation will provide enough funding to bridge the gap until Congress does the right thing and renews the act.”