Legislative Connection

Questions Continue to Swirl Around Accountability, Effectiveness of Florida’s Child Protection System

  Florida’s child welfare system is once again in the news for failing to protect children when they are at their most vulnerable – and now questions are being raised whether the public has been provided with the full story of how many children die as a result. The Miami Herald reports that there is question whether the number of children who have died due to abuse or neglect in Florida is being properly counted by the Department of Children and Families (DCF). According to the article, the Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) investigates children’s deaths under contract with DCF. The...

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Legislative Wrap-Up

Significant progress was made for children in Florida during the 2014 legislative session.  Twelve bills that The Children’s Campaign supported were passed. Four of those dealing with sexually violent predators have already been signed into law by Governor Rick Scott. The Campaign urges lawmakers to continue to stand up for children. To that end, the Campaign will release its 2014 Candidate Connection handbook in the coming weeks. The research-based guide provides a policy foundation for candidates and advocates alike. Research and best practices are at the heart of sensible, meaningful legislation – the kind we’ve helped shepherd through the Legislature...

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Legislative Connection for the Week of April 28

May 5, 2014 – IN THE LEGISLATURE, the 2014 legislative session is over, and it proved to be a good year for Florida’s children thanks largely to your support of our lobbying efforts. Before the session began, Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Destin) and House Speaker Will Weatherford (R-Wesley Chapel) announced that child welfare reform and child sex trafficking would be priorities for the 2014 Legislature. On the final day of session, they delivered on that promise with the passage of SB 1666 and HB 7141. The Legislature also passed a $77 billion budget on the final day. The spending plan,...

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Legislative Connection for the Week of April 21

April 28, 2014 – THIS COMING WEEK is the final week of the 2014 regular legislative session. Work continues at a feverish pace to finalize a budget for the coming fiscal year along with other legislative priorities of The Children’s Campaign. It is clear 2014 has the potential to be a better year for Florida’s children if the legislature fulfills its promises by the time it is scheduled to adjourn on Friday. Thank you for your support of our lobbying efforts. It really has made a difference. IN THE LEGISLATURE, last week in Tallahassee the legislature returned from the Passover-Easter...

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Legislative Connection for the Week of April 7

April 14, 2014 – THIS COMING WEEK the Legislature takes a break for Easter and Passover. IN THE LEGISLATURE, last week in Tallahassee was Children’s Week. People passionate about Florida’s over four million children gathered to celebrate. Tuesday was the big day with legislators and state officials reading to kids, an interactive mobile unit that teaches kids about fresh water, a tour of the Capitol and a variety of entertainment. Over 100,000 paper-hand cutouts decorated the Capitol Rotunda to symbolize the children affected by the decisions of Florida lawmakers. Safe Harbor – Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking The Children’s Campaign and...

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Legislative Connection for the Week of March 31

April 7, 2014 – THIS COMING WEEK IN THE LEGISLATURE is Children’s Week. From the hanging of the thousands of colorful hands inside the Capitol to events throughout the week, the purpose is to bring attention to Florida’s over 4 million children. Ironically, throughout Children’s Week there are several legislative actions scheduled (or not) that could have a negative impact on some of the state’s most vulnerable children. Proposed legislation that includes language to lock up victims of child abuse and child rape (SB 1724 and HB 7141) is still moving through the process despite numerous concerns of experts and...

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Legislative Connection Week of March 24th

March 31, 2014 – THIS COMING WEEK IN THE LEGISLATURE, the Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee resumes work on Senate Bill 7088. The bill, dealing with child sex trafficking, was temporarily postponed two weeks ago after The Children’s Campaign, Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center and committee members raised concerns about provisions in the bill that allow the trafficking victims to be locked up for up to 10 months. Also this week, the Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee will discuss a good bill that aims to increase penalties on sex traffickers and their customers. Senate Bill 1440...

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Legislative Connection – Budget Analysis

– March 31, 2014 Lawmakers in the House and Senate are hammering out their versions of the state’s 2014-15 budget. Both spending blueprints top Gov. Rick Scott’s $74.2 billion proposal. The House version (HB 5001), approved by the chamber’s Appropriations Committee last week, stands at $75.3 billion. The Senate’s (SB 2500), also approved last week by its Appropriations Committee, comes in at $74.9 billion. Both spending bills head to the floor this week for approval. The new budget year begins July 1. Budget Highlights Promise 1 – Children’s Health Neither chamber proposes to expand Medicaid under the federal health care...

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Legislative Connection Week of March 17th

March 24, 2013- THIS COMING WEEK IN THE LEGISLATURE, the House Healthy Families Subcommittee will meet to continue to workshop a bill aimed at reforming the child welfare system. The bill, released two weeks ago, covers a multitude of issues from the education level of child abuse investigators to the state’s investigation of child deaths. Also this week, the Senate Criminal Justice Committee will discuss a good bill that aims to build on the sex-trafficking reforms of the Safe Harbor Act of 2012. The bill (SB 768) by Senator Oscar Braynon (D-Miami Gardens) aims to help protect the victims of...

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Legislative Connection: What’s Coming for Kids in 2014 Session?

February 27, 2014 – IN THE LEGISLATURE, the House and Senate have completed three weeks of committee meetings and are now taking a one-week break before the 2014 legislative session begins on March 4th. With the start of session drawing near, the Children’s Campaign has a much clearer understanding of what issues will be priorities for the legislature and what our positions will be as an advocate for Florida’s children. Child Welfare Committees in both the House and Senate are exploring ways to overhaul Florida’s child welfare system. The action comes as a result of 40 deaths last year of...

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