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President Office — Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 26, 2020

CONTACT: Katie Betta, (850) 487-5229


Senate Passes Legislation to Safeguard Services for Victims of Domestic Violence

Tallahassee —

The Florida Senate today unanimously passed HB 1087, Domestic Violence Services, sponsored in the Senate by Senator Aaron Bean (R-Fernandina Beach). The legislation shifts the responsibilities and duties currently required of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence (FCADV) to the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF), including, but not limited to, implementing, administering, and evaluating all domestic violence services provided by Florida’s 42 state certified domestic violence centers.

“Any misuse of taxpayer dollars is unacceptable; however, the information that has recently come to light regarding the exorbitant levels of executive compensation and other serious issues within the FCADV is especially repugnant given the responsibility of this entity to serve vulnerable Floridians who have been the victims of domestic violence,” said Senate President Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton).

“I commend Senator Bean for leading the Senate effort to remove the FCADV from statute,” continued President Galvano. “As the investigation into FCADV continues, this good bill ensures that taxpayer dollars dedicated to victims of domestic violence are protected from fraud and abuse and, most importantly, that there is no interruption of services to victims of domestic violence.”

Background

In 1977, 14 shelters in Florida formed a network of battered women's advocates known as the Refuge Information Network. Several years later, this same organization was incorporated as the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The coalition is responsible for overseeing the funding of the state’s domestic violence centers.

In 2004, the Legislature directed the DCF to contract with a statewide association to help with the delivery of domestic violence services. As a result, the DCF contracted with the FCADV. In 2012, the Legislature required the DCF to contract specifically with the FCADV for the management of the delivery of services for the state’s domestic violence program. To safeguard taxpayer dollars dedicated to support victims of domestic violence, HB 1087 removes the requirement for the DCF to contract with the FCADV for the delivery and management of domestic violence services statewide.