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Senator Aaron Bean, District 4 — Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 6, 2017

CONTACT: Austin Nicklas, (850) 487-5004


"Keys to Independence Act" Passes Florida Legislature, Goes Before Governor

Tallahassee – SB 60/HB 217, Children Obtaining Driver Licenses, by Senator Aaron Bean (R-Jacksonville) and Representative Jennifer Sullivan (R-Eustis), passed the Florida Legislature yesterday. The bill makes a groundbreaking program helping foster children obtain driver’s licenses permanent and further enhances it.  Known as the “Keys to Independence Act,” the program assists youth with obtaining a learner’s permit or driver’s license, helps them find driver education courses and insurance, and offers financial assistance.

“Foster youth are often at a disadvantage for a variety of reasons, particularly when it comes to obtaining driver’s licenses and trying to become independent, successful adults,” said Senator Bean. “This bill solves these problems and provides Florida’s foster kids the opportunities they want and so rightly deserve.”

“Being able to drive is so important to being self-sufficient. There are many places in Florida where you can’t get a job if you don’t have a license, or you’re limited in where you can attend school because there is no mass transportation. Kids from the child welfare system should not have to start adulthood at a disadvantage,” stated Representative Sullivan.

In addition to making the pilot permanent, SB 60 and HB 217 expand eligibility for the program and allow a grace period to complete the program if a child transitions to a new home. The bill will now go before Governor Scott to be signed into law.

Senator Aaron Bean represents District 4, which includes parts of Nassau and Duval Counties.  He can be contacted in Tallahassee at 850-487-5004 or in his District Office at 904-757-5039.  To learn more about Keys to Independence, a program administered by Community Based Care of Central Florida, please visit www.keystoindependencefl.org.