Capitol Report2021-02-17T02:06:29-05:00

Capitol Report: No Shortage of Conversations in Tallahassee About Children

In a welcome contrast to what appears to be widespread practice in Florida, the Legislative Committee meetings in Tallahassee took place the past two weeks with masks being worn throughout the capitol and in committee rooms. Access to elected officials was severely restricted. And an ancillary facility with social distancing was identified for citizens and advocates to monitor developments and to speak to committees by video. What wasn’t a contrast to previous years was the renewal of the annual debate about the status, quality and condition of child welfare services throughout Florida.   While other children’s issues were addressed in other committees – with passage of a juvenile expunction bill and raising the ...Read More

By |January 28, 2021|Breaking News, Capitol Report|

Capitol Report: Budget Woes- No Good Reason to Rush

In Tallahassee and beyond, a behind-the-scenes debate about Florida’s proposed budget is simmering.  The #1 topic heating up phone lines, emails and texts are options to address an expected downturn in general revenue. November Special Session Possible Currently, the prevailing sentiment is to wait until November for a special session of the Legislature. By then, its proponents suggest, more will be known about the duration of the stay-at-home order, and, ultimately, its impact on collections. The elections also will have taken place, resulting in less pressure to appeal ideologically to anyone’s perceived base and, therefore, more reliance on facts. This timing is being tested, however, with the release this week of new ...Read More

By |April 16, 2020|Breaking News, Capitol Report|

Capitol Report: Substantive Children’s Bills Go To Governor

The end of session was shadowed by the looming fear of COVID-19’s impact on the health and the financial stability of a state that relies mostly on sales tax revenue. In one of the quietest 60 days on record, fewer substantive bills passed both chambers than in previous years. This was followed by a designated day to vote on the budget that swiftly passed. Adjournment carried none of the normal pomp and circumstance.  2020 Legislation by the Numbers  In total 3,517 substantive, appropriations, concurrent resolutions, local resolutions and memorial bills were filed. Five percent (191) passed by both the Senate and House were substantive, meaning they would change in some way the ...Read More

By |March 25, 2020|Breaking News, Capitol Report|

Capitol Report: Special Session on Budget Likely due to COVID-19

At the close of legislative session for those who work, volunteer or apprentice at American Children's Campaign, there’s a sense of relief. We are fatigued from the endless hours of reading (and re-reading) long bills and last minute filed amendments, which pop onto our screens at crazy hours of the day and night; from working across complex siloes of children’s services to support good policy and reform;  and from digging for verifiable facts to push back against bad legislation rooted in ideology or misinformation rather than quality research or best practice. It is said for every single line of bad policy it takes 3-5 lines to debunk and dispel. It’s a communications ...Read More

By |March 24, 2020|Breaking News, Capitol Report|

3 Weeks To Go: Some Children’s Bills Moving, Most Are Not

While many posts on digital platforms made fun of the month of January for seemingly lasting thousands of days, February is certainly flying by - with the end of Session drawing rapidly closer. Bills that are moving still have a chance to make it to the finish line, but the window of opportunity is closing. Bills that don’t have a companion in the opposite chamber rarely are passed; those that haven’t made it through at least two of their committees of reference and any that have hit a roadblock, such as a committee chair refusing to agenda the issue, have exceedingly tall hurdles to overcome. Discussions in Tallahassee are switching to appropriations. ...Read More

By |February 24, 2020|Breaking News, Capitol Report|

January 27th Capitol Report – Deserving Attention

Children’s Week, starting today, also kicks off the third week of legislative session. Actually, Children’s Week began yesterday with the Hanging of The Hands in the state capitol rotunda. The brightness of the colors from thousands of hands streaming down multiple stories evoke feelings of hope and joy. Outside, in the capitol courtyard, hundreds of small children run and play amid the booths erected and staffed by provider organizations and coalitions creating a fair-like atmosphere. Cameras inside a media truck parked to the side record interviews with legislators and others about children being the future.  All of it is designed to tug at the heart to drum beat a message about the ...Read More

By |January 26, 2020|Breaking News, Capitol Report|