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Gov. DeSantis signs bill that would strip nonprofit of its power overseeing domestic violence centers

Posted: 9:15 PM, Feb 26, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-27 17:28:09-05
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Governor Ron DeSantis have signed a bill that would safeguard services for domestic violence survivors.

Gov. DeSantis penned his signature to pass House Bill 1087, Domestic Violence Services, which would shift the responsibilities and duties of the nonprofit Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence to the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF). The list of duties and responsibilities include, "implementing, administering and evaluating all domestic violence service provided by Florida's 42 state certified domestic violence centers," according to the Florida Senate.

The passage of the bill comes a day after the Florida Senate unanimously passed the bill.

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The agency in charge of sending state and federal tax dollars to Florida's shelters found themselves at the center of controversy after domestic violence survivors and Governor Ron DeSantis began questioning their spending methods. The agency paid its former CEO Tiffany Carr about $7.5 million over three years.

Jessica, a domestic violence survivor who fled to a local shelter last year, called for the coalition to be held accountable for their alleged misspending.

"To be turned down for a $6 bus pass, I mean I saw it happen time and time again," Jessica previously told ABC Action News, reflecting on her time in the shelter. "It upset me so much at the time because I was just like, 'Where is all this money going?'"

Senate President Bill Galvano released the following statement:

“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.

I commend Senator Bean for leading the Senate effort to remove the FCADV from statute... 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.”