State Sen. Mike Fasano’s recently altered “Choose Life” bill passed the Community Affairs Committee today in a 7-2 vote. #
S.B. 196 aims to rewrite the law governing Florida’s brightly colored “Choose Life” license plates, moving funds from individual counties directly into the hands of Choose Life, Inc. The bill would also remove a stipulation that states at least 70 percent of the funds must go to meeting the physical needs of pregnant women looking to make an adoption plan for their unborn child. #
The bill has already drawn the ire of some critics, who argued that the changes could mean that more funds go to crisis pregnancy centers that often disseminate false information regarding abortion. Other questions regarding the bill lead to the filing of four separate amendments, each of which aims to ensure that funds are used for meeting the material needs of pregnant women in the state of the Florida. #
One amendment, filed March 15, made only one subtle change to the bill while the other three, all filed April 1, placed more restrictions on where the funds can end up. With the addition of the newest amendments, Choose Life, Inc. will only be able to use 15 percent of the funds for plate advertisements, and all of the funds made off the plates must remain in Florida. #
Last night's public hearing to discuss a proposal to privatize portions of 56 of Florida's state parks demonstrates that the issue is of major importance to Florida citizens. The meeting was attended by around 400 people, and, because there was not enough room inside, an additional 400 people remained outside, according to estimates from those in attendance.