A photo is taken of a bus bearing some of the more than 6,000 names of people killed by gun violence since the massacre in Newtown, Conn. Legislators on Thursday approved $5 million for the creation of a new research center on firearm violence, with supporters saying it will provide statistically sound data on the effectiveness of existing gun laws."It is a big step for us, frankly, and for the country to step in where Congress has failed," said state Sen. Lois Wolk (D-Davis) during floor debate.The proposal was contained in one of the "trailer" bills that implements the new state budget approved on Wednesday. Lawmakers aren't expected to wrap up their work on the implementation bills until next week.The effort began as a standalone piece of legislation earlier this year but was ultimately tucked into the final budget agreement between legislative leaders and Gov. Jerry Brown.Federal research into gun violence has largely been dormant for two decades, the result of lobbying by the National Rifle Assn. to curb&nbsp;the use of federal dollars. The organization also opposed the California effort, arguing it would use taxpayer dollars to fund a political agenda.The budget bill that contains&nbsp;the gun violence center&nbsp;received a few Republican votes on Thursday in Sacramento.Lawmakers have pointed out that California bears the brunt of significant costs from gun-related violence. A 2013 state agency report concluded&nbsp;that government-sponsored insurance programs pay for some two-thirds of the cost of firearm assaults and about half the cost of unintentional or self-inflicted gun injuries.On Monday, a package of bills that would impose new gun restrictions cleared a major hurdle in the state Capitol after emotional testimony from both gun control and gun rights groups. That vote came just two days after the mass shooting in Orlando, Fla., that left 49 people dead.That incident "underscores our need to better understand the impact of firearm violence," said UC spokesperson Claire Doan. She said location and further funding for the research center are still to be determined.The language of the budget-related&nbsp;bill says&nbsp;that there's a lack of objective data on the impact of gun violence, a void that the UC center would fill.The proposal would ask the UC center to focus on both the causes and consequences of gun violence as well as the effectiveness of existing laws. The $5 million appropriation was designed to provide funding for the gun violence center's first five years of operation.UPDATE 1:09 p.m. This story has been updated with additional information.12:55 p.m. This story has been updated to reflect the vote took place on Thursday, not Friday.10:57 a.m. This story has been updated with additional information on the budget proposal.