PEER Says State Held Back Money from Violence Shelters

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Jackson, Miss.

A legislative committee is criticizing state health officers for what it says is failure to distribute $1.6 million to domestic violence shelters across Mississippi.

Deputy State Health Officer Mike Lucius told The Clarion-Ledger that a 20-year-old state law limits the amount any one shelter may get to $50,000 per fiscal year.

However, the legislative Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Committee says most of the 12 shelters awarded grants in the 2013 budget year did not get that much.

The PEER report says the Mississippi State Department of Health disbursed $3.4 million to domestic violence shelters in fiscal years 2005-2013.

A domestic violence task force criticized the agency in October for failing to distribute or account for nearly $600,000 in state and federal money to victims.