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A BOLD VISION FOR HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Governor DeSantis hopes that all Floridians are able to lead long, healthy and productive lives and understands the importance of helping those in need including our most vulnerable who are unable to help themselves. The Bold Vision for a Brighter Future budget supports the increased need in child welfare funding and supports funding for seniors and the developmentally disabled. The budget also includes additional funding to help fight the opioid epidemic and funding to assist our veterans in employment opportunities. The Bold Vision for a Brighter Future budget will make significant investments in improving the lives of all Floridians in the future.

Opioid Epidemic

Governor DeSantis knows that we must do everything to fight the national opioid epidemic by working with our local partners to ensure that the needs of individuals struggling with opioid addiction are met. The Bold Vision for a Brighter Future budget recommends $84.6 million in total funding to fight the opioid epidemic in Florida. The budget provides $49 million in federal funding from the State Opioid Response Grant to address the opioid crisis by providing evidence-based prevention, medication-assisted treatment and recovery. Additionally, the budget provides $1.3 million to the Department of Health for increase epidemiology and surveillance to prevent and reduce opioid related morbidity.

Mental Health and Substance Abuse

The Bold Vision for a Brighter Future budget provides an additional $25.7 million in funding to support those with behavioral health needs. The budget includes $6.7 million to expand the capacity of Community Action Teams (CAT) for children ages 11-21 with mental health and/or substance abuse diagnosis and provides $4.2 million to expand Family Intensive Treatment Teams (FIT) capacity for parents who have a child ages 0-10 who has been determined unsafe. These multidisciplinary teams provide a family centered approach and allow individuals to be served in their community. The Bold Vision for a Brighter Future budget also includes $4.2 million in new funding for an additional 48 forensic community transition beds and $3 million for expanding civil bed capacity. The budget includes $7.5 million in federal funding for services to individuals with behavioral health needs.

Child Welfare

The Bold Vision for a Brighter Future budget includes $73.6 million to provide funding for services to children and families who depend on Florida’s child welfare system. The budget includes $42.9 million for safety management services, training to ensure staff are adequately prepared to provide child protective investigations, foster care parents who serve as caregivers for children who have been removed from their home and early intervention efforts for substance affected infants. Additionally, the Bold Vision for a Brighter Future budget includes funding to mitigate the financial shortfall of the expiration of the federal Title IV-E waiver which is set to expire September 30, 2019. The Bold Vision for a Brighter Future budget invests $30.7 million for maintenance adoption subsidies and post adoption services for children who are adopted from foster care. Governor DeSantis knows that adoption can change children’s lives and enhance the life of a family.

Employment Opportunities

The Bold Vision for a Brighter Future Budget includes $1 million to serve approximately 500 individuals with developmental disabilities and $1.5 million to serve approximately 550 individuals with behavioral health needs. Additionally, The Bold Vision for a Brighter Future budget provides $1.9 million to assist veterans in mentoring, training and networking throughout the State of Florida.

Seniors

Governor DeSantis hopes that all Floridians are able to lead long, healthy and productive lives. The Bold Vision for a Brighter Future budget includes $9 million in funding to meeting the needs of our seniors in the community. This funding provides services for individuals and caregivers who have been impacted by Alzheimer’s disease, and other memory disorders, and will allow an additional 250 individuals and their families to receive respite services. This investment also allows an additional 590 individuals to receive adult day care and case management services through the Community Care for the Elderly Program and 240 individuals to receive support for services and supplies through the Home Care for the Elderly Program.

Veterans

As a veteran, Governor DeSantis believes deeply in honoring those who served our country in the United States Armed Forces. The Bold Vision for a Brighter Future budget includes funding for staff and start-up operations at two new state veteran nursing homes. The budget invests $7 million for operations and 124 positions for initial staffing of the Ardie R. Copas State Veterans’ Nursing Home in St. Lucie County and $3.4 million for operations of the Lake Baldwin State Veterans’ Nursing Home in Orange County. Additionally, the Bold Vision for a Brighter Future budget recommends $6.5 million for capital improvements, equipment updates and 21 additional nurses and certified nursing assistants for Florida’s existing State veteran nursing homes.

Persons with Disabilities

The Bold Vision for a Brighter Future budget provides $40.4 million to get approximately 1600 individuals in crisis off the wait list and into the Agency for Persons with Disabilities waiver program. By funding the Agency for Persons Disabilities waiver program, people with developmental disabilities will be able to live, learn and work in their communities.