Gov. Rick Scott signed new legislation today that will allocate $1.5 million to pay for relocation services for women who are victims of sexual battery. The bill’s signing comes in the wake of criticism of the governor over his veto of $1.5 million for the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence, a group that was going to pass along that funding to 30 rape crisis centers across the state.
This week, in one of my last stories here at The Florida Independent, I wrote about Gov. Rick Scott’s decision to veto $1.5 million from the state’s $70 billion budget during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The money would have gone to rape crisis centers around the state.
Timing has not been on Gov. Rick Scott’s side lately.
After The Florida Independent broke news on Monday that Gov. Rick Scott vetoed $1.5 million for Florida rape crisis centers during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the governor began discussing the elimination today — and he is fumbling his words.
In response to Gov. Rick Scott’s line item veto stripping funding for 30 rape crisis centers around the state, a Tampa Bay center issued an open invitation to Scott yesterday.
State Rep. Lori Berman, D-Delray Beach, released a statement today expressing “deep disappointment in Governor Scott’s decision to veto $1.5 million in funding for the 30 certified rape crisis centers serviced by the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence.”
At 2 p.m., Attorney General Pam Bondi will hold the first Statewide Task Force on Prescription Drug Abuse and Newborns meeting with Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and others.
Gov. Rick Scott’s office is claiming that the funding he vetoed for rape crisis centers was “duplicative” and that “nobody was able to make it clear to [the governor] why rape crisis centers needed the new funding.”
On April 17, smack in the middle of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Gov. Rick Scott vetoed $1.5 million for the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence. The Legislature allotted the funds to the organization in order to support 30 rape crisis centers as they face impending reductions in collections, which currently is the bulk of their budgets.
Of the more then $142 million that Gov. Rick Scott vetoed from the already tight $70 billion budget yesterday, more than $38 million came in cuts to health care services. The Florida Current reports that Scott stands by eliminating the projects because they “weren’t a good use of taxpayers’ money and did not serve a statewide need.”