Update: SB 664 was withdrawn in committee. Thank you for all your calls and emails to your representatives asking them to stand against this bill! However, the budget committee removed funding for displaced homemakers programs from the NC budget, which was one piece of SB 664. This would impact local agencies such as the Compass Center. Visit their website for more information about this issue.
Urgent call to action: contact your representatives today to urge them to protect the Center, our sister organizations, and survivors of sexual and relationship violence across North Carolina by opposing SB 664!
SB 664 threatens to severely undermine services to survivors in our state by restructuring state funding to victim services agencies and establishing impractical eligibility requirements for that funding. For example, under the new requirements, the Orange County Rape Crisis Center and the Compass Center would be ineligible for funding because Orange County does not have a domestic violence shelter. And we are not alone.
Only 49 of North Carolina’s 100 counties currently have a shelter for survivors of domestic violence. In fact, only 20 of our 100 counties currently meet all of the eligibility requirements set forth by SB 664. This means that 80% of counties in North Carolina would lose state funding for victim services programs if the bill passes. For the Center, this funding cut would mean losing 10% of our annual budget (about $50,000). Such a loss would severely diminish our capacity to provide services and outreach in Orange County.
In addition to eliminating funding for the vast majority of counties in our state, SB 664 also prohibits service providers and state advocacy organizations such as NCCASA and NCCADV from serving on the state commission that oversees funding distribution, thereby eliminating key voices of those who work first-hand with survivors. Furthermore, the bill would require local government counties to spend significantly more financial and human resources to ensure administrative oversight of the funding distribution.
In short, SB 664 will cut funding for 80% of counties in North Carolina, likely forcing sexual and relationship violence agencies in those counties to cut services to survivors, all while eliminating key voices from the decision making process and costing more for oversight at the county level.