Bill helps battered women’s shelters

The state Senate Finance Committee endorsed a bill Thursday aimed at generating funds for battered women’s shelters around the state.

Senate Bill 251 would allow an extra fee to be assessed on certain domestic violence offenders and those who violate protective orders. The fee could be up to $500 under the measure sponsored by state Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans.

Morrell’s bill initially applied to offenders in any mayor’s court or magistrate’s court.

The committee amended the bill to cover offenders in “any court of competent jurisdiction.”

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s proposed budget for the fiscal year starting July 1 cuts funding for battered women’s programs.

The bill now moves to the state Senate floor for action.