Jeff Atwater, Chief Financial Officer for the State of Florida, was honored on Wednesday, April 5, 2017 with the Thomas A. Horkan, Jr. Distinguished Catholic Leader Award. The award was presented at the annual Catholic Days at the Capitol luncheon attended by the Catholic bishops of Florida, several state lawmakers and more than 300 Catholic faithful from across the state.
TALLAHASSEE, FL – Representative Jose Felix Diaz, District 116, Miami, was honored on Wednesday, April 5, 2017, with the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops Defensor Dignitatis (Defender of Dignity) Award for his ongoing, courageous and valiant defense of the dignity of the human person.
HB 969 by Rep. Jackie Toledo (R-Tampa) passed its final committee of reference on Thursday and is scheduled to be heard by the full House on Tuesday, April 4. The measure places the Florida Pregnancy Care Network (FPCN) in Florida statute. The program has been operating since 2005, with funding in the state budget provided on an annual basis. FPCN is a network of pregnancy help centers that provide services such as counseling, referrals, material support, training, and pregnancy and childbirth education to pregnant mothers as they prepare to parent or place their babies for adoption.
On Thursday, Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, Equal Justice USA, and several other advocacy organizations sponsored a rally at the capitol. Participants urged an end to the use of the death penalty as well as voiced support for State Attorney Aramis Ayala's decision within Florida law to not seek the death penalty in any case under her jurisdiction. Ayala's office handles cases from Orange and Osceola Counties.
On Tuesday, two mothers of Catholic school students spoke before the House PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee during public comments regarding HB 15 by Rep. Jennifer Sullivan (R-Eustis). The measure would allow higher per-child scholarships to students from low-income families seeking to attend nonpublic high schools in the Florida Tax Credit (FTC) Scholarship Program.
The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for Health and Human Services had its final discussion on a new funding mechanism for long-term care providers before advancing it to the full Appropriations Committee.