Capitol Report: Child Welfare Continues to Dominate Committee Action

Debate over Federal Covid Dollars Waits in the Shadows Thinking back to the start of legislative session, advocates were alerted that Florida’s child welfare system would become a key topic of conversation. Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson (R-Trilby) made a point of it again in his session opening remarks as he has done with every major address to his assembly dating back months. House Speaker Sprowls signaled that the two leaders were in discussion with mention of foster care in his remarks as well. Governor DeSantis appears to be comfortable on the sidelines of child welfare policy, choosing instead to focus on issues emanating from the drama of 2020: anti-protest ...Read More

2021-03-19T13:58:07-04:00March 19, 2021|Breaking News, Capitol Report|

Capitol Report: Attention to Children’s Policy Issues Remains Questionable

Legislative session begins today and will run for 60 days. Access to the capitol remains restricted. Unless testimony in person is specifically approved by the committee, the convention center nearby provides a meeting place for lobbyists and advocates who desire to watch the committee hearings and to testify via video feed. For grassroots advocates who in the past were able to walk the halls and buttonhole policymakers, their opportunities to be heard appear to be more limited.   Budget Presentations Dominated Committee Weeks Questions remain regarding the level of attention that will be paid to children’s policy concerns. Five committee weeks spanning January and February were long on budget presentations ...Read More

2021-03-05T14:34:05-05:00March 5, 2021|Breaking News, Capitol Report|

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 ...Read More

2021-01-29T10:03:17-05:00January 28, 2021|Breaking News, Capitol Report|