Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation today to restore $16.3 million to domestic violence services at shelters and centers across the state.

In a statement, Schwarzenegger applauded the efforts of groups who worked to keep the state’s 94 domestic violence shelters and centers open.

“I am proud to sign this bipartisan legislation that is good news for every Californian whose life is devastated by violence in the home and will help ensure domestic violence victims have a safe place to go,” Schwarzenegger said.

“I encourage the Legislature to continue looking for a permanent funding solution for this important program so domestic violence shelters aren’t faced with the same uncertainty next year,” he said.

State Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco/San Mateo, introduced the legislation after Schwarzenegger used a line-item veto to cut $20.4 million in funding from the state’s Domestic Violence Program in July.

Aaron McLear, a spokesman for Schwarzenegger, said the governor did not propose the cut, but rather resorted to the line-item veto after the Legislature passed an unbalanced budget.

The bill will reallocate the $16.3 million from the state’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Fund, to be repaid from the state’s General Fund within three years.

Funds will help restore emergency shelters, around-the-clock crisis hot lines, legal assistance and other support services that protect victims.

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