Gov. Rick Scott will today ask the Joint Legislative Budget Commission to approve a controversial home visiting grant from the Affordable Care Act.
$3.4 million in a Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting grant was awarded to the state to help with child abuse and neglect prevention. Even though Scott approved the grant, the Legislature rejected it because the state is in litigation with the federal government over health care reform, which allocated the money.
The state could lose out on $100 million in federal early learning education grants because of the rejection.
The state did, however, approve money from the Affordable Care Act for abstinence-only education. State Sen. Nan Rich, D-Weston, called this “hypocrisy” and criticized the Legislature to dismissing the needs of children and the elderly. Rich is a member of the Joint Legislative Budget Commission, which is considering the grant again today.
One of the other members of the Legislative Budget Commission, state Rep. Matt Hudson, R-Naples, told The Florida Independent that because the money is still allocated from the Affordable Care Act, the Legislature will yet again reject the funds.
The committee will convene to discuss the grants and other budget issues at 2 p.m. today.