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HB 449 — Children’s Initiatives

by Rep. Stafford and others(SB 720 by Senator Young and Campbell)

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Children, Families, and Elder Affairs Committee (CF)

HB 449 creates the Sulphur Springs Neighborhood of Promise Zone in Tampa and the Overtown Children and Youth Coalition in Miami as state recognized children’s initiatives.

Children's initiatives are modeled after the nationally known Harlem Children's Zone. They are limited geographic areas with severely disadvantaged physical and social infrastructure, such as high crime, low educational outcomes, or poor housing. These factors result in fewer opportunities for successful child development.

Children’s initiatives aim to create a community-based service network that develops, coordinates, and provides quality education, accessible health care, youth development programs, opportunities for employment, and safe and affordable housing for children and families.

The Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida reviews and designates requests from local governments for neighborhoods to be recognized as children’s initiatives under s. 409.147, F.S. The Ounce of Prevention Fund has designated five initiatives in Florida, including both the Tampa and Overtown initiatives.

The bill provides that the initiatives are 10-year efforts and are designed to serve an area large enough to include all necessary components of community life, but small enough to reach every member of the neighborhood who wishes to participate.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2018.

Vote: : Senate 36-0; House 112-0