State Rep. Matt Hudson, R-Naples, says the Legislature will yet again reject home visiting grants from the federal government because the money is still allocated from the Affordable Care Act.

The state Legislature has created a bit of controversy lately by rejecting grants for home visiting programs aimed at curbing child abuse and neglect in the state. The GOP-led Legislature says it has rejected the grants because Florida is in litigation with the federal government over the constitutionality of the law that allocates the funds: the Affordable Care Act. (Some legislators have claimed “hypocrisy,” because the state did accept money from the law for abstinence education.)

Advocates and the state Department of Health have worked with the federal government to possibly get the home visiting funds awarded again. But the Department of Health will still need budget authority from the Legislature to receive those grants.

Hudson tells The Florida Independent that the Legislature will deny them yet again.

He says the state Legislature had taken a look at the grant prior to its 2011 session and had taken note that it was tied to the Affordable Care Act, the federal government’s health care reform law.

“Since we are not implementing the Affordable Care Act, we opted not to do that,” Hudson explains. “And nothing has changed. If they bring it forward, we will reject it.”

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