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            United Gazette
                                         Weekly News from the Capitol
Issue: #4April 1, 2013
A weekly update during the Florida Legislative Session, highlighting how United Way is working to make our community a better place to live.
Top News: Quality Parenting for Children in Foster Care
Mid-session success for children in foster care: CS/HB 215, the 'Quality Parenting for Children in Foster Care Act', passed unanimously in the Senate last week and awaits Governor Scott's signature.  It was championed by Sen. Nancy Detert (R-Venice) and Rep. Ben Albritton (R-Wauchula).  The bill gives foster parents the ability to make more decisions about activities for children in their care, providing foster children a more 'normal' growing-up experience.   Read more.
Quick Links
House and Senate Budget Timeline


April 3:  Appropriations Committees pass bills.
April 10-12:  Final budget bills passed by House and Senate.
April 15-30:  Conference committees meet and resolve budget differences.
TBD: House and Senate pass Conference agreement for 2013-14 state budget.

May 3:  Session's scheduled end.

United Way Priority Agenda Issue:  Community Care for the Elderly (CCE)


Florida Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA) operates home and community-based services programs that help frail elders remain at home, avoiding more costly nursing home care.  Some DOEA programs are funded by Medicaid or other federal dollars; others (such as CCE) are funded with state General Revenue dollars.  CCE provides personal care, home repairs, home-delivered meals, caregiver respite, care management, adult day care, emergency alert response and medical transportation.  The House budget increases CCE funding by $7.1 million, to serve 1,162 additional frail elders; the Senate budget maintains current CCE funding.  Read more.

House and Senate Budgets

Last week, on Wednesday and Thursday, appropriations sub-committees in both the House and Senate passed their respective 2013-2014 budget proposals, and on Friday the full appropriations committees released their budgets.  The House Budget Press Release and Senate Budget Press Release provide overviews of their budget proposals. 



United Way Priority Agenda Issue: Homeless Coalitions
Florida's local homeless coalitions are supported by the state Office on Homelessness and the Florida Council on Homelessness, both within the Department of Children and Families. In 2011, the 27 local homeless coalitions received $3 million in state funding, which leveraged an additional $85+ million in grants.  These funds provided safe housing to homeless individuals and families across the state, short-term financial aid to enable those at risk to remain in their current housing, and essential services such as meals, transportation, and health care through Homeless Housing Assistance Grants.  The House budget includes the $3 million for Homeless Coalitions; the Senate budget does not.  Read more.
Questions or Comments?
If you have questions or comments regarding the United Gazette and how United Way is working in Tallahassee to support your community, contact Ted Granger or Jess Scher.