State Sen. Mike Fasano’s recently amended Choose Life bill, which would redirect funds made off of the bright yellow specialty license plates, passed the Senate Transportation Committee today. Though Fasano added one subtle change to his bill yesterday, he now says he will make a few more before the bill is signed into law.
State Sen. Mike Fasano’s recently amended “Choose Life” bill, which would redirect funds made off of the bright yellow specialty license plates, passed the Senate Transportation Committee today. Though Fasano added one subtle change to his bill yesterday, he now says he will make a few more before the bill is signed into law.
Yesterday, a phrase aimed at opening up the options for funding was added into S.B. 196 (.pdf). The bill previously said that funds going toward the physical needs of pregnant women could go toward “clothing, housing, medical care, food, utilities and transportation,” the bill now reads that funds cannot be limited to those items. In other words, should other physical needs arise once the bill is signed into law (diapers, for instance), funds can still be allocated?
Fasano plans to change the bill even further, however.
Forthcoming amendments will see to it that funds made off the plates can only be spent in Florida. As is, the bill doesn’t specify, and many have concerns regarding where the money could end up.
Still another change will stipulate that Choose Life, Inc., the agency that will be handed the funds should the bill pass, can only receive a minimum amount of the funds to use for promotional advertising. As the bill is currently written, a maximum of “20 percent of the total funds received annually may be used by Choose Life, Inc., for the administration and promotion of the Choose Life license plate program.” According to Greg Giordano, Fasano’s chief legislative assistant, Fasano will soon file an amendment to lower the 20 percent portion that goes to Choose Life.
The amendments will be prepared and filed once the bill is placed on the Committee for Community Affairs’ agenda, which will mark the next stop for S.B. 196.
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.