State Sen. Ronda Storms, R-Brandon (Pic by Senator Storms, via flsenate.gov)

A bill that would provide a way for Floridians to donate money to the homeless when registering vehicles and renewing their driver’s licenses moved forward in the Florida Senate today.

The bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Ronda Storms, R-Valrico, said that if implemented, the legislation could raise roughly $1.5 million a year to assist the homeless. Storms’ bill is part of a bipartisan effort to combat the state’s growing homelessness problem.

60 Minutes shed much-needed light the state’s epidemic of homeless schoolchildren last year. The subject of the program was Seminole County, Fla., where there are 1,100 homeless students in its K-12 schools. Among the most staggering numbers highlighted during the television program was “of all the families without shelter in America, one third are in Florida.”

Earlier this month the Orlando Sentinel reported that Central Florida officials warned “the number of homeless students in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties has ballooned 79 percent since January 2009.”

According to a study released by The National Center on Family Homelessness last month, Florida has one of the worst rates of child homelessness in the country.

Last year, Gov. Rick Scott vetoed  $12 million dollars from the state’s general revenue fund to the National Veterans’ Homeless Support Group for “homeless housing assistance grants.” The item was one of the many public assistance programs Scott vetoed.

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