Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill on Monday to provide more than $70 million to support fatherhood in his state.
DeSantis penned the recently passed bill during a live stream video on Monday morning.
Governor DeSantis signs legislation that will provide more than $70 million to support fatherhood. https://t.co/uXDPga790v
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) April 11, 2022
House Bill 7065, passed in the state’s Senate in March unanimously following a 117-0 unanimous vote in the House.
The bill will require “the Department of Children and Families and Department of Juvenile Justice to identify and meet the needs of dually-involved children within a specified timeframe; revising information that must be included in a transition plan; requiring prenatal and infant health care delivery programs to include certain father engagement activities; requiring the Department of Children and Families to contract for the development and implementation of the Responsible Fatherhood Initiative and to provide grants to community-based not-for-profit organizations to offer certain mentorship programs; designating the month of June as ‘Responsible Fatherhood Month.'”
The governor acknowledged the law would not solve all of the state’s problems regarding fatherhood, but spoke strongly regarding the impact it could have for dads across Florida.
“This bill has huge ramifications for someone to reach their God-given potential,” DeSantis said during the bill’s signing.
Florida House Speaker Chris Sprowls (R) led the bill going into the legislative session.
“From poverty to crime to incarceration, just about every negative outcome we see that faces boys here in Florida and across the country, can be linked back to an absent father in the home,” Sprowls said.
Last month Senate President @WiltonSimpson and Senators stood on the historic Capitol steps committing with the House to address the fatherhood crisis and transform the lives of our kids in the process. Tonight, the Senate delivered a win for Florida! #ProudFLDad pic.twitter.com/2J50jxxllg
— Chris Sprowls (@ChrisSprowls) March 5, 2022
The bill follows another important piece of legislation DeSantis signed on Wednesday to guarantee Florida families the fundamental right to visit their loved ones receiving care in hospitals, hospices, and long-term care facilities, promising his residents that they will not be “denied the right” to see their loved ones in hospitals or nursing homes. The Daily Wire reported:
SB 988, the No Patient Left Alone Act, allows a resident, client, or patient the option to designate a visitor who is a family member, friend, guardian, or another person as an essential caregiver, according to a statement from the governor’s office. “The provider must allow in-person visitation by the essential caregiver for at least two hours daily in addition to any other visitation authorized by the provider,” the text of the bill states.
“Throughout the pandemic, the federal government has waived protections for families to visit their loved ones in hospitals and long-term care facilities. That is unacceptable,” DeSantis said in the statement.
“Here in Florida, we recognize that family and human connection is one of the most important aspects of physical, mental, and emotional well-being and we are ensuring Floridians are never again denied the right to see their relatives and friends while in hospitals or nursing homes,” he added.
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