Week 4 – March 29, 2015
The House and Senate Appropriations Committees passed their respective 2015-16 budgets on Thursday, March 26. The two proposed budgets contain an approximate $5 billion difference, as the Senate budget (SB 2500) includes $2.8 billion of federal funds for the expansion of health care coverage, and another $2.2 billion for continuation funding for the Low-Income Pool Program, a program scheduled to expire June 30. The House budget (HB 5001) does not include funding for health care coverage expansion or funding to extend the LIP Program. These differences continue to set the stage for a budget battle that some say may not even be resolved by the end of the regular session on May 1.
The Health Insurance Affordability Exchange (FHIX) bill (SB 7044) was passed unanimously by the full Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday, March 25, providing alternative affordable health care coverage to low-income, uninsured Floridians through private insurance. According to a recent poll conducted by Public Policy Polling, 58% of Florida voters support the expansion of health coverage for low income families, compared to 26 % opposed.
EARLY LEARNING AND SCHOOL READINESS
Early Learning Bills
A bill to increase health and safety standards at early learning facilities by the House Education Committee, CS/HB 7017 is awaiting action by the full House. The companion bill by the Senate Education PreK-12 Committee, SB 7006 is still awaiting action by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services.
HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Early Steps Program
As advocates continue to monitor the Early Steps program transition to ensure that services to children are not negatively impacted, the Florida Consortium of Advocates for Infants and Toddlers issued their legislative advocacy priorities requesting $5 million in additional funding to sustain the program. The Consortium reported a 5% increase in enrollment over 2013 to 43,500 infants and toddlers in 2014. Children with complex needs, including those with autism have skyrocketed, thus increasing referrals and straining the program’s operating capacity. The current caseload of 1:65 or more is above the national caseload average for Part C caseload of 1:38.
In the current proposed 2015-16 budget, the House does not include increased funding for Early Steps, while the Senate budget contains a $3.3 million increase, still below the $5 million request to adequately meet early intervention services of children with special needs.
Florida KidCare Program
SB 294, sponsored by Sen. Rene Garcia (R-Hialeah) that would allow children of lawfully residing immigrants, who have been residing in the United States less than five years to be insured under the Florida KidCare program, passed 2 committees unanimously in the Senate. The federal government permits states to cover those in a 5-year waiting period, if the state elects to do so. The bill specifies that the statutory changes do not extend Healthy Kids or Medicaid eligibility to undocumented immigrants. The fiscal impact for the 2015-16 fiscal year in recurring state General Revenue funds is down from $14.5 million last year to $4.8 million.
The House companion, HB 829 by Rep. Mike LaRosa (R-St. Cloud) is STALLED – still awaiting its first hearing in the House Health Innovation Subcommittee.
We need you to contact the following house members and let them know how important these bills are to you and ask that the bills be heard quickly:
Chair Richard Corcoran – Click here
Chair Jason Brodeur – Click here
Chair Ken Roberson – Click here
Health Care Coverage Expansion
On March 25, the Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously passed SB 7044 relating to Health Insurance Affordability Exchange. The bill creates the Florida Health Insurance Affordability Exchange Program or FHIX in the Agency for Health Care Administration and extends health care coverage (by drawing down approximately $3 billion per year in federal match) to cover an estimated 800,000 uninsured, low-income Floridians in households earning less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL). These individuals are not currently eligible under the Medicaid program. To be eligible, an individual must be a U.S. citizen and a Florida resident. The FHIX is implemented in three phases, from July 1, 2015, through January 1, 2016. Florida Health Choices, Inc., the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation, the Department of Children and Families, and the Agency for Health Care Administration are given duties to implement the FHIX. The bill provides the AHCA with authority to seek federal approval to implement the FHIX program. Triggers for ending the program are also included. The bill has a fiscal impact of approximately $11.87 million to general revenue for Fiscal Year 2015-2016 and a fiscal impact of approximately $118.5 million to general revenue for Fiscal Year 2016-2017.
There is no House companion to the proposed Senate bill. House Speaker Steve Crisafulli (R-Merritt Island) has reiterated his chamber’s continued opposition to Medicaid Expansion.
Newborn Health Screening
SB 632 by Sen. Rene Garcia (R-Hialeah) directs the Department of Health to establish requirements for newborn adrenoleukodystrophy, a test administered to newborns which identifies the presence of adrenoleukodystrophy, a disease of the central nervous system that is inherited as an X-linked recessive trait and characterized by blindness, deafness, tonic spasms, and mental deterioration. An amendment was added to CS/SB 632 that directs the Department of Health to adopt rules to require newborns to be tested for adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) as soon as ALD is adopted on the federal Recommended Uniform Screening Panel. The bill was passed unanimously by the Senate Committee on Health Policy on March 23, and now moves to Banking and Insurance.
The House companion, HB 403 by Rep. Mike LaRosa (St. Cloud) is awaiting action in the Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee.
Child Abuse Death Review (CADR)
On March 24, the House Subcommittee on Children, Families, and Seniors chaired by Rep. Gayle Harrell (R-Stuart) unanimously passed HB 7121 (formerly PCB CFSS 15-02) on child welfare. The bill addresses issues related to implementation of SB 1666 that passed in 2014.
HB 7121 addresses the increased volume of cases reviewed through the Child Abuse Death Review (CADR) process and better aligns it with the newly created Critical Incident Rapid Response Team (CIRRT) process, clarifies the roles of the two types of committees within the CADR process, and imposes specific reporting requirements. It also permits the Secretary of DCF to deploy CIRRTs in response to other child deaths, in addition to those with verified abuse and neglect in the last 12 months. Further, the bill requires more frequent reviews and reports by the CIRRT advisory committee. The bill also requires multi-agency staffing to be convened for cases of alleged medical neglect, clarifying that the staffing shall be convened only if medical neglect is substantiated by the child protection team. HB 7121 implements the Florida Institute for Child Welfare Report (FICW) interim report recommendations by clarifying legislative intent to prioritize evidence-based and trauma-informed services. The bill does not have a Senate companion.
The Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday passed SB 7068 which would change the way mental-health and substance-abuse services are administered, coordinate them with primary health care and seek to increase Medicaid funding for them.
“The bill will lead to more continuity and less fragmentation of services,” Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Chairman Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah, said in a prepared statement. “People suffering from mental illness and substance abuse will receive more effective treatment, and the service delivery system will be more accountable to the taxpayers who fund these important efforts.”
HB 465 by Rep. Ross Spano (R-Riverview), “Relating to Public Records/Human Trafficking Victims,” was unanimously passed the House Judiciary Committee on March 26, and now awaits full House action.
The Senate companion, SB 1106 by Sen. Anitere Flores (R-Miami) passed unanimously in the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice on March 23. The bill now awaits action in the Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice.
Other bills related to human trafficking include:
HB 467 by Rep. Ross Spano (R-Riverview), “Relating to Public Records/Human Trafficking Victims,” was passed by the House Judiciary Committee on March 26 and now awaits full House action.
SB 1108 by Sen. Anitere Flores (R-Miami), “Relating to Public Records/Identity of a Victim/Human Trafficking Offenses,” was passed unanimously by the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice on March 31.
SB 1110 by Sen. Anitere Flores (R-Miami), “Relating to Public Records/Residential Facilities Serving Victims of Sexual Exploitation and Human Trafficking passed the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice on March 23, and is scheduled to be heard in the Governmental Oversight and Accountability on March 31.
Charging Youths as Adults in Criminal Proceedings
HB 783 by Rep. Katie Edwards (R-Sunrise) that seeks to reduce the number of youth charged as adults in less serious criminal proceedings is awaiting action in the Justice Appropriations Subcommittee. The bill specifies offenses that allow state attorneys to file information for specified juvenile offenders. More specifically the bill:
Prohibits filing information for juveniles with certain conditions;
Specifies effects of direct file;
Prohibits certain juvenile offenders from being transferred to adult court;
Requires the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) to collect specified data and make a report;
Specifies minimum age for indictment of juveniles for certain offenses;
Prohibits certain juvenile offenders from being transferred to adult court; deletes provisions relating to sentencing of juveniles as adults for certain offenses;
Revises provisions relating to transfer of other pending felony charges when the child has been indicted;
Revises factors to be considered in determining whether to impose juvenile or adult sanctions for violations of law by juvenile;
Requires the court to consider specified reports in the hearing on such sentencing;
Revises provisions relating to sentencing alternatives.
The Senate companion, SB 1082 by Sen. Thad Altman (R-Cape Canaveral) passed the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice on March 23 and now heads to the Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice.
HB 99 sponsored by Rep. Gwyndolen Clarke-Reed (D-Pompano Beach), is scheduled to be heard in the House Justice Appropriations Subcommittee on March 31. The bill requires law enforcement officers (LEOs) to issue a civil citation upon making contact with juveniles who admit having committed certain misdemeanors. Civil Citation Programs (CCPs) give law enforcement officers an alternative to arresting youth who have committed non-serious delinquent acts. Currently, under a CCP, a law enforcement officer has discretion to issue a civil citation to a juvenile who admits to having committed a first-time misdemeanor, assess not more than 50 community service hours, and require participation in intervention services appropriate to any identified needs of the juvenile. As of October 2014, CCPs were operational in 59 of Florida’s 67 counties.
The Senate companion, SB 928 by Sen. Dwight Bullard (D-Miami), is awaiting its first hearing in the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice.
SB 378 by Sen. Rene Garcia (R-Hialeah) expands juvenile civil citation by allowing law enforcement to issue a civil citation to youth who have committed a second or subsequent misdemeanor. Civil citation is presently only available to youth who admit to committing a first-time misdemeanor. In addition, law enforcement will be authorized to issue a simple warning to the youth and inform the youth’s parents of the misdemeanor. CS/SB 378 also states that if an arrest is made, law enforcement must provide written documentation as to why the arrest is warranted. The bill passed the Senate Children, Families, and Elder Affairs Committee unanimously on March 26, and now heads to the Senate Rules Committee.
PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
Students with Disabilities
SB 7022 entitled “Individuals with Disabilities,” was read a second time on the floor on March 24 and placed on third reading for April 1. Part of the joint agenda, “Work Plan 2015,” announced by Senate President Andy Gardiner and House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, the legislation seeks to enhance employment options available within state government for Floridians who have a disability.
CS/SB 7022 addresses the employment and economic independence of individuals with disabilities. Specifically, the bill:
Modifies the state’s equal employment policy to provide enhanced executive agency employment opportunities for individuals who have a disability;
Creates the Financial Literacy Program for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities within the Department of Financial Services to provide information and outreach to individuals and employers;
Creates the Employment First Act requiring an interagency cooperative agreement among specified state agencies and organizations to ensure a long-term commitment to improve employment for individuals who have a disability; and
Creates the Florida Unique Abilities Partner program to recognize businesses that employ or support the independence of individuals who have a disability. The bill makes several appropriations to implement the programs and activities required under the bill.
HB 7095 by the Committee on Education and Rep. Michael Bileca (R-Miami) entitled Florida Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts passed the House Education Appropriations Subcommittee as a Committee Substitute on March 24, and is now awaiting full House action. The bill increases the pool of eligible applicants by expanding the definition of autism to include all students on the autism spectrum disorder, and to include students who have muscular dystrophy. The bill increases the types of services available to participants, including:
Tuition and fees for part-time tutoring services provided by a certified teacher; a certified adjunct teacher; or an individual who demonstrates mastery of subject area knowledge.
Fees for an annual evaluation of educational progress for home education students.
Fees associated with use of an electronic payment system.
The bill strengthens accountability by:
Clarifying those funds must be expended for the student’s educational needs.
Outlining specific criteria for when payments to a personal learning scholarship account would cease, and when an account is closed and funds revert to the state.
Requiring review of all expenditures prior to reimbursement.
Authorizing the Commissioner of Education to deny, suspend, or revoke program participation or use of program funds in specified circumstances.
Requiring that a high-risk child who reaches 6 years of age has documentation of an eligible disability in order to continue in the program.
Requiring the Auditor General to provide a copy of the annual operational audit to the Commissioner of Education.
The Senate companion SB 602 by Sen. Don Gaetz (R-Destin) is scheduled for full Senate floor action and a vote on April 1. CS/SB 602 bill amends the Florida Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts Program (PLSA or program) by expanding the pool of eligible students, tightening program accountability requirements, streamlining program implementation, increasing the Department of Education’s (DOE) responsibilities for implementation of the program, and clarifying program implementation.
Specifically, the bill:
Expands student eligibility to include all students on the autism spectrum, per the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), and to students who are, or will be 3 or 4 years old on or before September 1 and meet all other eligibility requirements. Establishes eligibility dates for existing students to renew and new students to apply for the PLSA program.
Requires that authorized expenditures be for educational purposes.
Authorizes expenditures associated with part-time private tutoring from persons meeting specified requirements (e.g., certified teacher and special skills)
Requires that interest accrued remain in a PLSA account for the parent to use for authorized purposes.
Requires a licensed physician to approve specialized services before being provided by an approved provider.
Allows parents the ability to receive the scholarship funds before the beginning of the school year.
Requires an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization (SFO) to notify program participants of their annual ability to request new or a revised matrix of services.
Authorizes the Commissioner of Education to determine the length of suspensions or terminations, and determine conditions for reinstating program eligibility.
Adds an option for parents to use PLSA funds on providers from outside the State of Florida who meet similar regulation or approval requirements to those applicable to in-state providers for specialized services.
Expands the authorized uses of program funds to include fees for specific specialized programs, fees for an annual evaluation of educational progress, training and maintenance agreements for digital devices, and transition services provided by life coaches.
Clarifies that kindergarten students approved via “high-risk” status must re-qualify under one of the other disability categories when he/she reaches age 6 in order to renew program participation.
Clarifies PLSA funds may be used toward enrollment at Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida (ICUF) institutions
The bill increases the number of students potentially eligible for a scholarship by including all students on the autism spectrum. An estimated 860 additional autism spectrum students could participate in the program under the expanded definition, which would cost an additional $8.6 million. An estimated 480 three and four year-olds could be eligible to participate in the program at an additional cost of $4.8 million. However, since scholarships awarded under the program are on a first-come, first-served basis, the number of students receiving a scholarship is limited by the funds appropriated in the General Appropriations Act.
OTHER BILLS AFFECTING CHILDREN
Children and Youth Cabinet
HB 55 by Rep. Gayle Harrell (R-Stuart) relating to the Children and Youth Cabinet, passed the full House unanimously on March 27 and now heads to the Senate.
The Florida Children and Youth Cabinet (Cabinet) consists of the Governor and 14 members. These members include the Secretary of the Department of Children and Families, the Secretary of Juvenile Justice, the director of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the director of the Office of Early Learning, the State Surgeon General, the Secretary of Health Care Administration, the Commissioner of Education, the director of the Statewide Guardian Ad Litem Office, the director of the Office of Adoption and Child Prevention, and five members appointed by the Governor who represent children and youth advocacy organizations. The bill creates one additional Cabinet position to be held by a superintendent of schools who is appointed by the Governor.
The Senate companion, SB 878 by Sen. Bill Montford (D-Quincy) is awaiting action in the Committee on Children, Families, and Elder Affairs.
HB 7063 (formerly PCB CRJS 15-02) relating to child pornography passed the House Criminal Justice Appropriations Subcommittee unanimously on March 25. The bill now heads to the House Judiciary Committee. “Morphing” refers to a process in which a computer user distorts or transforms one picture into another. In recent years, individuals have started using this technique to create “morphed” child pornography (e.g., images depicting sexually explicit conduct in which an actual child’s head has been superimposed onto an adult’s body). While the possession, distribution, transmission, etc., of traditional child pornography has long been illegal, criminalizing such acts that involve morphed child pornography has been more problematic.
Unlike federal statutes, Florida’s current child pornography laws are not as specific in addressing morphed child pornography. As a result, courts have determined that persons that possess, distribute, transmit, etc. such images cannot be held criminally liable. HB 7063 amends the definitions of the terms “sexual conduct” and “child pornography” in ch. 847, F.S., to include morphed images of child pornography. As a result, persons who possess, promote, transmit, etc., morphed child pornography can be held criminally liable. The bill also reorganizes Florida’s laws relating to “sexual performance by a child” and Florida’s child pornography laws so that they are all located in ch. 847, F.S., and provides that each act of transmitting child pornography is a separate offense. To date, there is no Senate companion to this bill.
OTHER BILLS OF INTEREST
Value Adjustment Boards
SB 972 by Sen. Anitere Flores (R-Miami) relating to Value Adjustment Boards (VAB) proceedings passed the Community Affairs Committee unanimously on March 17, and is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Finance and Tax Committee on March 31. The bill makes several changes to VAB proceedings:
Requires a petition to the VAB to be signed by the taxpayer, or be accompanied by the taxpayer’s written authorization for representation, which is only valid for one tax year.
Limits representation of taxpayers before the VAB to certain professionals.
Requires the property appraiser to notify the petitioner when the property record card is available online.
Limits a petitioner’s ability to reschedule a hearing to a single instance and for good cause only.
Changes the rate of interest for overpayments and underpayments from 12 percent to the prime rate.
Allows district school boards and district county commissions to audit VAB expenses.
Requires all VAB petitions to be resolved by the June 1 following the assessment year.
Establishes an enhanced review process by which the Department of Revenue may conduct a review of VAB proceedings for counties that receive 10,000 or more petitions in any one tax year.
The Revenue Estimating Conference has determined that this bill will have an indeterminate positive impact on local government (school district, county, municipal and special taxing district) revenues and will allow for more budget predictability on the part of such local governments.
The House companion CS/HB 695 – Ad Valorem Taxation by Rep. Bryan Avila (R-Hialeah) passed the House Finance and Tax Committee on March 19, and is scheduled to be heard in the House Appropriations Committee on March 31.
SB 176 by Sen. Greg Evers (R-Pensacola) eliminates the statutory prohibition against carrying a concealed weapon or firearm by concealed carry license-holders into any college or university facility. Current law specifically includes these facilities among the places where a concealed weapon or firearm license does not authorize the licensee to “openly carry a handgun or carry a concealed weapon or firearm.” The bill was passed by a 3:2 vote by the Senate Criminal Justice Committee on March 16, and is awaiting action in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The House companion, HB 4005 by Rep. Greg Steube (R-Sarasota) as passed by the Higher Education and Workforce Subcommittee on March 18, and is awaiting action in the House Judiciary Committee.
CS/HB 19 by Rep. Greg Steube (R-Sarasota) is awaiting action in the House Judiciary Committee. The bill allows school superintendents, upon approval of the district school board, to create a school safety designee program through which the school superintendent may designate one or more individuals to carry a concealed weapon or firearm on school property. Weapons or firearms may only be carried in a concealed manner and must be on the individual’s person at all times while performing official school duties. The bill
Requires school safety designees to possess a concealed weapon license.
Establishes criteria and training requirements which school safety designees must meet.
Requires a level 2 background screening for school safety designees who have not already had a level 2 background screening by the school board, and authorizes each school superintendent to require additional background screenings and mental health screenings for all school safety designees.
Requires district school board policies and procedures for emergencies and emergency drills to include active shooter and hostage situations, to be developed in consultation with a local law enforcement agency.
Requires each district school superintendent to provide recommendations to improve school safety and security to the first responding local law enforcement agency.
Requires school districts and private schools to allow first-responding law enforcement agencies to tour the school campuses once every three years. Any recommendations relating to school safety and emergency issues based on a campus tour must be documented by the district or private school.
Specifies that a district school board may commission one or more school safety officers on each school campus.
Specifies that the required training will be created and defined by the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission which is administered by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).
The Senate companion, SB 180 by Sen. Greg Evers (R-Pensacola) is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Education Pre-K-12 Committee on March 31.
APPROPRIATION SUBCOMMITTEES RELEASE INITIAL BUDGET RECOMMENDATIONS THIS WEEK
The fourth week of session marked the ramping up of the state budget process, as the full appropriations committees approved their recommended budgets (HB 5001 and SB 2500). The Senate will take up its budget next week. The bills provide a basis for the development of a single comprehensive appropriations bill by both the House and Senate.
Early Learning Budget Highlights
Total School Readiness funding in the House budget is $560.5 million and includes a $5 million recurring increase for serving additional children. This is different to the Senate budget that includes an additional $15 million nonrecurring increase to serve additional children for one year.
The VPK program total budget is $396.1 million, and the base student allocations of $2,480 for the school year program and $2,116 for the summer program represent an increase of 1.75%. The Senate has proposed $389.2 for the VPK budget and base student allocations of $2,437 for the school year program and $2,080 for the summer program.
The House has $10.5 million with $3.5 million recurring for performance based funding. The Senate has $3.5 million recurring.
The House proposed $2 million for the Help Me Grow Florida Network, a national initiative that is designed to identify children at-risk for developmental or behavioral disabilities, and connect them with community-based programs for health and developmental services.
The House proposed an additional $1.5 million in non-recurring funds for the TEACH scholarship program. The Senate proposed the base funding of $3 million without the increase in funds.
The House proposed an additional $2.5 million in non-recurring funds for the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program, an evidenced-based early learning program. The Senate proposed base funding of $1.4 million without the increase in funds.
Kidcare: The House proposed full funding for the KidCare program with an increase for Florida Healthy Kids dental services to be paid a monthly premium of no more than $14.54 per member per month.
Children’s Medical Services Administration: The House and Senate proposed $1 million in recurring funds and $8.6 million in Trust Funds for an increase in per member per month funding for administrative services related to Children’s Medical Services Network Title XXI Program.
Healthy Start Coalitions: The House proposed $872,500 in nonrecurring funds to the Department of Health to fund designated Healthy Start Coalitions and federally qualified health centers to integrate the Nurse-Family Partnership model to provide intensive nurse visitation services for women and their infants. From these funds, the Department of Health will use $10,000 to contract with the Nurse-Family Partnership National Service Office for process and outcome data identification, management, and analysis. Any needed training and programmatic support will also be provided. The following is provided to high risk communities: Miami-Dade County $487,500 and Pasco County $375,000.
Early Steps: The Senate proposed an additional $3.3 million in recurring funds for the Early Steps Program.
Electronic Personal Records for Foster Children: The House appropriated $100,000 in non-recurring funds for the development of MyJumpVault to allow foster youth to access their medical records.
Healthy Families Expansion: The House appropriated the recurring sum of $19.6 million from the General Revenue Fund and $7.7 million from the Welfare Transition Trust Fund to the Healthy Families program.
Increase to Core Service Funding for Community Based Care (CBC) Lead Agencies: The House appropriated $8.9 million in recurring funds and $6.7 million in Trust funds. The Senate Appropriated $9.4 million in recurring funds and $6.7 million in Trust Funds. The current funding level is $587.1 million for all CBCs.
Enhanced Services for Human Trafficking Victims: The Senate proposed $400,000 in non-recurring funds to assist victims.
Children’s Community Action Teams (CAT): The Senate and House proposed $750,000 each in recurring funds to providers for services to children ages 11-21 with a mental health diagnosis and a co-occurring substance abuse diagnosis.
Adoption Incentive Awards to Community-Based Care Agencies (CBC) and State Employees: The House proposed $1.5 million in recurring funds for costs associated with HB 7013 – Adoption and Foster Care bill.
Non-Violence Project USA (NVPUSA HEALTHCARE) to Expand Behavioral Health Care Program in Schools: The Senate proposed $1 million in non-recurring funds for school based programs.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Florida: The Senate proposed $1 million in recurring funds to increase prevention and intervention services in the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). The House proposed $400,000 in recurring funds.
Helping Hands: The House proposed $125,000 in non-recurring general revenue for an after school prevention program for children.
Empowered Youth Job Development: The House proposed $100,000 in non-recurring funds for a diversion/intervention program based in Miami that serves inner city at-risk young men between 13 and 19, most of whom have been court-referred.
Florida’s Children’s Initiative: The House proposed $300,000 in non-recurring general revenue for prevention programs at 3 sites: Jacksonville, Orlando, and Miami.
Miami Children’s Initiative-Liberty City: The Senate proposed $95,000 in recurring
funds for prevention and intervention services.
Miami-Dade Crime Prevention and Youth Crime Watch Program: The Senate proposed $100,000 in recurring funds for educational materials for a youth crime watch program to help reduce crime in Dade City.
The Senate proposed $2.4 million and the House $850,000 to expand PACE for girls.
The House and Senate proposed to $150,000 in recurring funds for secure placement in the CINS/FINS program, and $2 million for non-residential services in select rural counties.
The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
On Thursday, the US House of Representatives passed the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) Children’s Health Insurance Program/Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visitation (CHIP/MIECHV) Legislation on a vote of 392-37. The compromise extends the current CHIP program for two years, with no harmful changes as proposed by the Hatch-Upton-Pitts proposal. Further, the bill includes NO harmful offsets to Medicaid, CHIP or the ACA in the package, good news for kids.
The bill now moves to the US Senate where it will be voted on as soon as Senators return from recess in 2 weeks.
Call your Senate members immediately and urge them to support the renewal of CHIP and Home Visitation funding.
Children’s Week – April 12-17
Children’s WeekChildren’s Week www.childrensweek.org brings together many non-profits at the Captiol under “One Voice” to support children’s issues and advocate for the full spectrum of children’s services and needs. Local coordinators also plan and implement various events in their communities to symbolize the unity of Florida’s statewide child advocacy efforts.