CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The chances are “slim to none” that Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin will restore $750,000 in funding to 14 domestic violence and early childhood programs. That’s according to state Senate President Jeff Kessler. He was one of many speakers at a rally Tuesday in the Capitol Rotunda calling on the governor to rethink his decision.

Back in March, while trying to balance the budget, Tomblin approved cutting the funding. Last month, the governor relented and put $260,000 back into those programs. Marcy Drake, the executive director of Women’s Aid in Crisis out of Elkins, told the crowd at the capitol, a little wasn’t enough.

Jennifer Smith/MetroNews

A large crowd gathered at the capitol but they may have to wait until next year to get more funding.

“The Coalition Against Domestic Violence asks the governor to restore all funding to all programs,” Drake stressed. “Not a few! Every one!”

Dozens of supporters surrounded the speakers, many of them had children with them to bring home the point. Those impacted the most are often mothers and kids.

“The Coalition Against Domestic Violence was cut in the governor’s budget by 14.3 percent,” said Drake. “This amounts to $357,900. These are dollars that were going to be used for advocacy, for safety planning, for saving lives in West Virginia.”

Patricia Bailey is the executive director of the Women’s Resource Center in Raleigh, Fayette, Nicholas and Summers counties. She stressed the money they lost makes up just a tiny fraction of the state’s multi-billion budget.

“To cut $357,900 out of the budget for those domestic violence programs, that to me sends a very clear message of what’s important in the state.” And Bailey said its not protecting women and children.

The governor office has argued that some of the funding that was stripped away was done so because services were being duplicated. Bailey said that is not the case.

“We are licensed to do what we do. No one else can do what we do. We are the only ones that can do what we do and we save lives,” stressed Bailey.

The governor decided not to to put the issue on this week’s special session agenda which wraps up on Wednesday.

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  • TruthSeeker

    No mater if it is Dem. or Rep. They all are corrupt. This state is last in everything except corruption. There is no hope for WV no matter who is in office. The economy in WV is doomed now or in the future. Face it people.

  • Gary Karstens

    They deserve to be fully-funded. We have enough coal trucks storming around the road for this to be funded. This is what government is supposed to for the people....not the coal tycoons. YEESH!

  • Really

    How about this. All women and the 1st sign of being with a violent partner leave!!!!!' Duh

    • DWL

      I agree completely!

  • George

    Yep let's keep putting those Dems back in office....Will we ever learn?

  • Pickle Barrel

    Budget was balanced by grabbing $147 million from the Rainy Day Fund. There is no money. Period. High time you folks realize money doesn't grow on trees. Oh, and please stop the pimping of children to promote your cause. It demeans them and makes people all the less likely to listen to you.

    • Cucumber

      Damn right Pickle Barrel and make Maddox quit crying to the Feds for highway monies/entitlements to fix our busted up roads.. Suck it up folks... I got by 4X4, gun, and dog.. I hope the legislature will be taken over by the Republicans and they keep cuttin those taxes... We need to live within our means, last or next to the last in every economic indicator in the country.

    • ViennaGuy

      I find it absolutely reprehensible on the part of these adults to use little kids as props. They should be ashamed of themselves ... unfortunately, they are not.

      They can advocate all they want, but the kids have no say in it.

  • Picklebee

    yes, but we will fund mamma and her much needed racing dogs.

  • jdwag

    do we have a program for everything? why don't we have a program for pissed of fathers who get screwed by a woman? we cant fund everything my goodness end of rant

  • DWL

    Yep. These are useless programs in WV. These are nothing but "feel good" money wasting garbage. What to add some bite? Make it a crime for the party crying domestic abuse to drop the charges or refuse to testify when it comes time for the court testimony. Then, and only then, will you see a drop in the reported domestic cases.

    • Harvey

      Or consult with major institutions actively involved with domestic violence around the country for recommendations, integrate these programs with jails, prisons and treatment facilities since drug and alcohol abuse are factors in many of these matters and expect the state agency involved with program oversight to have a degree of objectivity and independence, free from a particular agenda or bias. That would be a good start to seeing some results for the money that is spent. Prevention of such violence is a proper goal of government, just not the way these folks see it.

  • Harvey

    And, they are licensed to do what they do because they license themselves. No one not an employee or affiliate of a current member of the Coalition is eligible for certification by the Coalition as a domestic violence counselor. Strange and self-serving, but true.

  • Harvey

    Unless the child pictured here is especially precocious it is doubtful she wrote the text of the sign that some self-interested adult hung around her neck. This is exploitation of the child of the worst and highest order. There is a real story here about the Coalition and the manner in which it restricts funding to any entity that does not pay for membership. The killing goes on. The abuse goes on. The cheap funding mechanism put into place by the Coalition and its legislative backers goes on. Budgets never properly allocated by DHHR. Hot lines that are never answered. No services for male victims. Self preservation to the highest order. And the killing and abuse goes on while the internalized "advocacy and safety planning" is pursued relentlessly--and with no perceivable results. Pretty brochures. Catchy phrases. Meetings in Charleston. Domestic abuse and violence should be stamped out root and branch, and progress could be made if those blessed for so long with sheltered political status are forced to change direction and show results other than rhetoric. Perhaps this is a solid first step to reality.

  • Brian

    Patricia Bailey cares about self preservation for her agency and herself. To claim that women and children aren't important in this state is ridiculous. $357,900 is not a teenie tiny fraction of anything. Besides the purpose of the state is supposed to be for all citizens. What about men, seniors and others not served by the Women's Resource Council? I guess all others are not important in her view. Time to stop enabling social problems to continue with government funding. Tomblin should cut more.

  • WVU1

    If you have a Pinto budget, you sure aren't gong to be driving a BMW. It's far past due for the government to "get lean".

  • Bill MC

    We wonder why government only gets bigger, now we know. Any program that gets cut all we hear is how much they are needed. I think all programs needs to be looked at every year to see how the money was spent and if it needs to be fully funded the following year!

    • The bookman

      I agree. By what process does the Governor decide these 14 programs are overfunded, and at the same time we should spend nearly $5M/yr on roadside assistance? We balanced our budget by taking $147M from the Rainy Day Fund after emptying every coffee can account in State Government. Where are the adults in the room?

    • Hillbilly

      And.. how many of them were never fully funded in the first place.