MADISON (WKOW) -- Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker announced Wednesday he believes the state needs to invest $11 million in centers for domestic abuse victims and their children.
One initiative Walker is proposing includes $560,000 in funding for Domestic Abuse Intervention Services Center (DAIS) in Madison to assist with the construction of a new facility.
"For those of you who don't know, DAIS actually operates the smallest domestic violence shelter per capita in the entire state," DAIS Executive Director Shannon Barry said during a news conference Wednesday. She says the shelter saw a 33 percent increase in the number of nights people were waitlisted for a bed from 2011 to 2012.
"Because of the size of the waitlist that you have here, it has a ripple effect on the surrounding communities and surrounding counties -- it's tremendously important," Walker said.
The new shelter will have 56 beds and include extensive security measures to allow more individuals. The shelter currently operates with 25 beds for all of Dane County.
"People can't even get onto our waitlist unless they have been screened as being in imminent harm of potential homicide," Barry said. The new facility costs a total of $5.6 million, Barry says. She says the state contribution would pay for 10 percent of the entire construction budget.
Governor Walker also proposes investing $10.6 million in funds to partner with Children's Hospital and the SoJourner Family Peace Center on the Family Justice Center project in Milwaukee.