Tiffany McGlinchey

Author Archives: Tiffany McGlinchey

Tragedy Rattles Legislative Session

The horror at Parkland High School took place on Wednesday, February 14. Florida’s top elected officials arrived on Thursday and legislators followed on Friday. News stories began emerging about more support for mental health funding, resources for tightening school security and new school construction for Parkland which could spread design changes to other facilities. Concurrently, rallies have erupted across the state renewing the intense debate over gun laws. Revelations that the shooter was known by Florida’s social services and mental health system will also add to the wide-ranging discussions. In the coming week these issues and more are expected to...

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More Needed to Solve Hillsborough’s Foster Care Crisis

No matter the industry, it is generally a mark of leadership to take responsibility, not point fingers, when matters go south. Captains are admired for going down with their ships. It’s also why Bear Bryant, University of Alabama’s legendary football coach from 1958-1982, continues to inspire even today. When asked about his leadership style, Bear simply said, “There’s just three things I’d ever say. If anything goes bad, I did it. If anything goes semi-good, then we did it. If anything goes real good, then you did it.” To get to the bottom of Hillsborough County’s continuing foster care problems,...

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Boys and Girls Club & Girls, Inc. Fight Licensing and Safety Standards

Lobbyists and administrators affiliated with two national organizations headquartered outside of Florida bussed in employees and direct service supervisors to speak against the oversight and licensing of afterschool programs. The arguments mirrored those used and rejected in other states. SB 1520 would have extended standards, licensing and inspection to all afterschool programs serving school age children from ages 5-12. The cries against from the Boys & Girls Club and Girls, Inc. resulted in the bill being withdrawn. It likely would have failed on a 2-2 vote. Although it is understandable that responsible parents would believe that programs that receive millions...

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Child Marriage Bill Gets Blemished by House Amendment

SB 140, sponsored by Sen. Benacquisto (R-Ft. Myers), passed unanimously in its third and final reading on the Senate floor, and is now in messages to the House. The bill had such overwhelming support that 31 Senators signed on as co-sponsors of this exemplary legislation. The House, however, was a different story. In a difficult-to-watch Judiciary committee meeting, some representatives raised concerns about the “true love” of 16-year-olds, the continued degradation of family, and questioned whether preventing pregnant teens to marry actually places them on the path to poverty as single mothers. They also questioned the accuracy of the overwhelming...

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Legislative Connection – Bill Update Edition Week of 1/22/18

Welcome to The Children’s Campaign’s Legislative Connection – Bill Update. These editions focus on the movement of legislation pertaining to children, providing up-to-date information about bills that were heard and/or scheduled. Children’s legislation separated by issue area can also be tracked in our Legislative Center, and deeper analysis of our priority legislation area is featured in our Key Issue pages. Children’s Week was celebrated with the annual “hanging of the hands” and other events hosted by a range of organizations. Congratulations to Dr. Wil Blechman, this year’s recipient of the Lawton Chiles Advocacy Award. His decades-long advocacy spans early childhood,...

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Beyond Human Trafficking Awareness – What’s Next for Florida?

With January being National Human Trafficking Awareness Month, activities have been in full swing throughout the state. The Children’s Campaign interviewed Linda Alexionok, president of Voices for Florida, one of the organizing sponsors for Traffick Stop 2018 on the takeaways from the statewide event. Voices for Florida serves as the backbone organization coordinating and administrating serves to victims and survivors through the Open Doors Outreach Network pilot.   Q: How big of a problem is sex trafficking in Florida? A: It is a persistent and pervasive crime throughout our country, and Florida is not an exception. Although progress is being...

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Legislative Connection – Bill Update Edition Week of 1/15

Welcome to our first Legislative Connection – Bill Update edition of the 2018 Legislative Session. These editions focus on the movement of selected legislation pertaining to children, providing up-to-date information about bills that were heard and/or calendared. Other bills heard during the week and/or filed but not scheduled can be viewed in our online Legislative Center separated by issue area; and find our quality analysis of The Children’s Campaign’s priority legislation on our Key Issue pages. Week of 1/15 Bills: Committee Bill PCB CRJ 18-03 was presented by Chair Spano (R-Riverview) in the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee and passed unanimously....

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Florida Session 2018: Will Children’s Issues Be Heard?

Allegations of sexual misconduct, pinhole cameras, public outings of affairs, vacancies due to multiple resignations for related and unrelated reasons and, of course, election year maneueverings all are competing for the attention of lawmakers while they are trying to focus on the legislative process. Add the early start of session, a hurricane related forecasted budget shortfall exacerbated by previous tax exemptions and an overall tense environment at the capitol have this session shaping up to be a nail-biter. Media outlets across the state listed what they believed would be top issues for 2018 session – increased penalties for texting while...

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Another Good Week for Children at the Capitol

If Dr. Seuss had written about Florida’s last committee week of 2017 in his classic grinchy tale, it probably would’ve sounded much like this: Bills for relative caregivers, Early Steps and parents in jail, trafficking, pay raises, civil citations and GAL, all passed their committees, and then legislators with haste, completed their work before session, with no time to waste. In other words, the final committee week was a relatively speedy and good week for policies benefiting Florida’s children. Bills to Help Abused and Neglected Children Pass Unanimously Policy makers heard multiple bills and presentations to improve outcomes for children...

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Milestones Reached Despite Tension

Tallahassee, similar to the rest of the country, is mired in a fog of sexual harassment allegations involving high-ranking members of both political parties. Combining this fallout with allegations of surveillance on Florida policy makers plus the start of political ads for the 2019 election cycle ratchets up the already tense environment at the capitol. Regardless, the work of the state continues. Following last week’s meetings, one committee week remains before the start of the 2018 Legislative Session in January. Milestones were reached as the Governor released his budget recommendations, bills passed second committee stops and presentations were heard on...

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