Shame on the Republicans in the Dutchess County Legislature. On April 7, they tabled ground-breaking domestic violence legislation (introduced by the Democratic legislative minority) that would have begun the process of GPS tracking of alleged abusers. They did not even allow discussion. Assistant Majority Leader Angela Flesland even had the audacity to suggest that Dutchess County does not have a domestic violence problem.

Well, I don’t know what she considers a “problem,” but six deaths in less than a year seems problematic to me.

Flesland also stated that a Domestic Violence Advisory Committee has been investigating GPS tracking since January so there was no need for this legislation. It’s almost May  now. When will this committee have a working model for the county? Next year?

During public comment, both myself and Maria DiBari, as volunteer DV advocates, addressed the Legislature. We begged them, on behalf of DV victim Linda Riccardulli’s family, to vote for this lifesaving legislation. Apparently our plea fell on deaf ears.

Surprisingly, Leah Feldman, project coordinator for Dutchess County’s Universal Response to Domestic Violence, did not make a statement at this meeting, but sat quietly through it. One would think she would have implored the legislators  to vote for a bill that could potentially save the lives of many victims.

Once again, Dutchess County failed its citizens. Domestic violence is a non-partisan issue. It’s time that our Republican lawmakers realize it.