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Issue 7   |  February 28, 2020

Top News: Governor DeSantis Declares February 27th Florida Suicide Prevention Day
Assistant Secretary for Substance Abuse and Mental Health, DCF, Rodney Moore speaking at Florida Suicide Prevention Day  

With only two weeks left of the 2020 Florida Legislative Session, Committee meetings will end on Tuesday, March 3rd.  The remaining 10 days of session will be comprised of House and Senate floor meetings.  Chair Rob Bradley, Appropriations, stated this week to not expect the Budget Conference to begin over the weekend.  It is anticipated that conferees will be announced early next week, kicking off the conference process.
Governor DeSantis declared February 27, 2020 as Florida Suicide Prevention Day. Between 2008 and 2018, the sunshine state lost 3,552 lives to suicide, and the suicide rate per 100,000 has dramatically increased from 14.6 to 17.0 according to statistics from the Florida Department of Health.
In his proclamation, Governor DeSantis commented that "Florida's priority is to reduce the number of families in crisis by increasing access to prevention and pre-crisis contacts."  He added that "Florida Suicide Prevention Day is an opportunity to raise awareness in hopes of preventing a devastating impact on Florida's families and communities."

Priority United Way Bills Heard this Week

Week of February 24-28, 2020

CS/SB 1688: Early Learning and Early Grade Success (Harrell; R-Martin, Palm Beach, St. Lucie ) - Adding the Division of Early Learning to the divisions of the Department of Education; revising the duties of the Early Learning Programs Estimating Conference; providing requirements for minimum child care licensing standards; requiring students enrolled in the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program to participate in a specified screening and progress-monitoring program; revising the performance standards for the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program; authorizing certain child development programs operating on military installations to participate in the school readiness program, etc.    Passed by Appropriations Committee on Education on February 25.
CS/HB 687: Services for Veterans and Their Families  (Zika; R-Pasco) Authorizes DVA to establish Florida Veterans' Care Coordination Program to provide behavioral health care referral & care coordination services for veterans & their families; authorizes DVA to contract with certain nonprofit entity to enter into agreements with Florida 2-1-1 Network participants to provide such services; provides for statewide delivery of specified services by program teams; requires Florida 2-1-1 Network participants to collect program implementation data & submit such data to DVA; requires DVA to submit report to Governor & Legislature.   Passed by the State Affairs Committee on February 27.
*CS/CS/HB 23: Panic Alarms in Schools  (Gottlieb and Daley; D-Broward) - Requires each public school to implement panic button system; provides requirements for such system; provides $8 million appropriation; provides DOE requirements for such appropriation.   Passed by the Education Committee on February 26.

*Click on In-Session Blog link below for more information.

Click for Updates on all Florida United Way Priority Bills.
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Questions or Comments?
Contact Rick Owen, United Way of Florida or Heather Davidson, United Way of Broward County