2020 Legislative Session | Week 3
The 3 rd week of Legislative Session was bustling during the 25 th Annual Children’s Week at the Capitol! Children and advocates from all over the state of Florida visited the Capitol to highlight the importance of children’s issues to our legislators.

On Monday night, at the annual Children’s Week Awards Dinner & reception, honored 4Generations Institute founder Jack Levine with the Chiles Advocacy Award. Jack served for 25 years as the President of Voices for Florida’s Children, and he continues to advocate for children across the state of Florida. We thank Jack for his unrelenting dedication to children’s health, education and overall well-being. 
Over 40 Youth Advisory Committee members traveled to the State Capitol for Children's Week.
They had a chance to meet with legislators, policymakers and advocates on current issues, tour Florida State University (FSU) and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) and network with other youth advocates from across the state.
Below you will find a list of bills filed for this session related to children, youth and families. The first column lists the bill number, name and sponsor and provides a hyperlink to the bill's text and history. The second column represents the number of committees of reference for each bill and the final column gives a brief description of the bill. Here is a key to help guide you in your review of where a bill is:
Child Welfare
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These identical bills redefine the term "petitioner" to allow for individuals to seek risk protection orders for respondents if they are a biological or legal guardian, spouse, or sibling.
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 This bill updates the definition of "aggravated child abuse" to include obstruction of breathing and causing injury to a child's sexual organs.



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 These similar bills revise the definition of the term “child care facility” to exclude government-sponsored recreation programs. The bill allows counties, other municipalities, and school districts to create and operate recreation programs for children at least five years old and to adopt standards of care specifying staffing ratios, minimum staff qualifications, health and safety standards, and level 2 background screening requirement for all staff and volunteers.
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These similar bills seek to expand the list of incidents or injuries that constitute harm to a child’s health or welfare, and expands the types of reports that the Department of Children and Families must refer to Child Protection Teams.
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These identical bills authorize circuit courts to create early childhood court programs, requiring that early childhood court programs have certain components.
 SB 238 - Child Welfare - Sen. Book
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This bill removes an exemption for privileged communications to clergy relating to child abuse, abandonment, or neglect, etc.
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Rep. Gottlieb

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These similar bills make a number of changes related to the care of children and young adults in out-of home care and by foster parents. They provide requirements for insuring children and young adults are informed of rights. They clarify roles & responsibilities of foster parents and other caregivers, DCF, and community-based care agencies.
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Rep. Eskamani

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These similar bills seek to update the prohibition of sales of firearms to people convicted with a misdemeanor domestic violence offense, the possession of firearms and ammunition, and surrendering of firearms and ammunition.
Rep. Watson
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This bill requires that assets seized in human trafficking cases under specified conditions must be used to pay restitution to victims, and it specifies that defendants convicted of trafficking must pay the minor victims restitution.
 Children, Families, and Elder Affairs

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This bill amends definitions relating to child-on-child sexual abuse and reorganizes and clarifies provisions and requirements relating to reports of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect and the central abuse hotline at the Department of Children and Families (DCF). It requires that the central abuse hotline keep statistical reports relating to reports of child abuse and child-on-child sexual abuse in specified educational settings. It provides penalties for specified educational providers whose employees knowingly and willingly fail to report suspected or known child abuse. It also addresses a recognized strong correlation between animal abuse and child abuse and requires reporting and penalties for specified investigators for failure to report.
Early Learning



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 Rep. Williams
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These compare bills require vehicles used by child care facilities to transport children to be equipped with a DCF minimum standards approved alarm system that prompts the driver to inspect the vehicle for the presence of children before leaving the area.
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Requires child care facilities and large family child care homes to install video cameras in both facilities and associated transportation. Provides DCF authority to promulgate associated rules. 
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Revises minimum licensing standards relating to transportation safety for child care facilities, large family child care homes, & family day care homes.
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These similar bills extend the scheduled expiration of the Early Childhood Music Education Incentive Pilot Program expected to expire in June 2020 to June 2022, and it modifies the eligibility requirements.
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These identical bills provide early education or child care subsidy for certain foster parents.
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These identical bills establish grant funding for practitioners to apply to start the evidence-based in home visitation programming Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY).
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This bill requires the Department of Children and Families to include in licensure standards for child care facilities a minimum percentage of children enrolled in a facility who must have received immunizations.
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These similar bills place the Office of Early Learning within the Department of Education (DOE) and create a Chancellor position. They revise duties of the Early Learning Programs Estimating Conference, place Gold Seal program in DOE, addressing licensing standards.
K-12 Education
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These similar bills aim to update the free & reduced lunch reimbursement, remove exemptions for school districts making it required to offer free & reduced lunch and universal breakfast programming, create tax incentives for farms donations, and requires schools to implement specified programming to cut down on food waste.
Sen. Harrell
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Rep. Williams


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These identical bills require public schools to screen all students in kindergarten through grade 3 for dyslexia within a certain timeframe, certain public school students an intensive remedial intervention program, public schools to have at least one staff trained in dyslexia instruction, and creates the Dyslexia Task Force within the Department of Education.
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These similar bills revise the notification requirements relating to involuntary examinations of a student who is removed from school, school transportation, or school-sponsored activity. 
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HB 7011 - K-12 Student Athletes - PreK-12 Innovation Subcommittee




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These similar bills are aimed at student safety while participating in rigorous events on campus. They revise provisions relating to automated external defibrillators on school grounds, training related to CPR & defibrillators, FHSAA student athlete safety policies, & specified medical evaluations.  
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Creates the Summer Youth Service Learning Program to match low and moderate-income students with outstanding academic records with appropriate summer employment opportunities with state agencies, local governments, school districts and private businesses to be funded by the Legislature.  
Juvenile Justice
Sen. Braynon II
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These similar bills reduce crime penalties for the possession of cannabis, specifying that juveniles offending for the first time may be issued a civil citation or eligible for a diversion program. 
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Rep. Alexander


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These identical bills prohibit holding a child prosecuted as an adult in a detention facility intended for adults, with some exceptions.
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These similar bills aim to revise the discretion by the state attorney to direct file a juvenile and allows for a court hearing to dispute a direct file determination. 
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These similar bills aim to remove the provisions allowing state attorney to request court to certify children of certain ages who commit specified crimes for prosecution as adults.
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These similar bills seek to allow a person with a prior expunction granted for an offense that was committed as a minor to seek additional expunctions.  

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These similar bills eliminate the requirements that for a juvenile to qualify for enrollment in a diversion program, they must have been charged with a misdemeanor and it is their first offense.
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HB 949 - Juvenile Justice - Rep. Eskamani


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These identical bills prohibit children younger than 12 from being adjudicated delinquent, arrested, or charged with a crime. Defines that children of at least a specified age, rather than of any age, to be taken into custody, only under certain circumstances. Requires that children who are taken into custody pursuant to certain circuit court orders be treated in a specified manner and be detained only pursuant to specified findings, etc.
Health & Safety
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These identical bills revise provisions relating to reimbursement of school-based services by AHCA to certain school districts and private & charter schools.
Sen. Book
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Rep. Altman




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These similar bills aim to update outdated state laws in accordance with federal statutes for continuum of care. They increase the amount of challenge grant funds CoCs are able to receive annually, allow for federal match to be accessed, and create a designated revenue stream.
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These similar bills require certain insurance coverage plans to cover the cost of hearing aids for children.
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These identical bills amend current law relating to child restraint requirements while transporting a child in a motor vehicle. The bill increases from age five years or younger, to age six years or younger, the age of children which must use a crash-tested, federally-approved child restraint device. The bill also increases from age four through five years, to age four through six years, the age of a child
for which use of a separate carrier, an integrated child seat, or a child booster seat is authorized.
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These identical bills revise eligibility for Medical Assistance and Related Services, and they extend Medicaid eligibility to specified adults.
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This bill updates safety belt usage and requires each passenger in a vehicle to be restrained by a safety belt or child restraint.
Sen. Taddeo
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These identical amendments to the State Consitution seek to expand the state Medicaid plan to provide Medicaid coverage to people under age 65 with an income equal to or below 138 percent of the federal poverty level.
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These similar bills require home inspectors to include certain information relating to swimming pools in their report: new residential swimming pools meet additional requirement in order to pass final inspection & receive certificate of completion, certain pool safety features meet specified standards, prohibits property owner from transferring ownership of parcel that includes swimming pool unless certain requirements are met, provides civil penalties rather than criminal penalties.
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Rep. Bush III
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These identical bills add water safety instruction to the mandated health education standards the state currently requires taught in schools.
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These identical bills remove the lifetime maximum cap on covered expenses for a child enrolled in the Florida Healthy Kids program.
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These similar bills aim to provide additional evidence-based supports for young adults experiencing serious mental illness, particularly evidence of an episode of a psychotic episode .
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These identical bills authorize state agency to enter into pay-for-success contract with private entity under certain conditions, subject to appropriation & specified language in General Accounting Act.
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These identical bills aim to enforce and track by annual report parity between mental health and substance use disorder benefits and medical and surgical benefits.
Two-Generational Approach
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These similar bills r equire the auditor general to complete audits of specified assistance programs and document eligibility requirements, the frequency of eligibility determination and other associated requirements for families. Revises definition of income and changes service priorities within the school readiness program.
For more information, please contact
Donovan Lee-Sin, Public Policy & Community Engagement Officer at