From the HSLDA E-lert Service:
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Date:
From:
Subject:

2/11/2002 6:19:59 PM
Christopher J. Klicka, Esq., Senior Counsel of HSLDA
Florida--URGENT: Calls Needed Immediately to Stop Government Nanny Program

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 11, 2002

Dear Florida Members and Friends,

Last year, we fought and defeated House Bill 1435, the "Government
Nanny" bill. Thousands of calls and e-mails from concerned home
schoolers and other parents persuaded Governor Jeb Bush to veto the
bill.

Unfortunately, the Government Nanny bill is back. H.B. 1435 is
scheduled for vote this Thursday, February 14.

This is our opportunity to make a difference! Last time, the bill
flew through the Florida House and Senate, just briefly pausing at
Governor Bush's desk for his final signature, meaning that only
Governor Bush heard from the people. The House and the Senate were
not aware of the grassroots opposition.

This year, we have the chance to stop this measure in the House,
before it even reaches the governor's desk.

If H.B. 1435 becomes law, it will lay the foundation for transforming
Florida into a "government nanny state" by greatly increasing the
power of the state over children and reducing parents' rights.

REQUESTED ACTION:

Please call your state representative IMMEDIATELY and deliver this
message:

"Please vote against H.B. 1435. This bill creates a big government
program that will invade family privacy, usurp the role of parents,
and waste taxpayer money. This bill is not needed at this time of
budget shortfalls."

You do not need to identify yourself as a home schooler.

Calls need to be made from today, February 11, through the day of the
scheduled vote, February 14.

You can call your state representative directly. If you do not know
who your state representative is, call your county clerk's office or
use HSLDA's Legislative Toolbox at: http://www.hslda.org/toolbox.

BACKGROUND:

H.B. 1435 creates a new big government program called "Learning
Gateway" and will involve "developing strategies for offering
hospital visits or home visits by trained staff to new mothers."

The purpose of H.B. 1435 is to "screen" children from birth to age 9
for "biological, environmental, and behavioral risks," and "learning
problems." Further, Learning Gateway providers will conduct "intake
with families," conduct "needs/strength-based assessments of
families," and "make referrals for needed services" nd "developmental
monitoring."

This will all be done in "collaboration" with the Florida Department
of Children and Family Services and numerous other big government
agencies and programs.

Some additional reasons Home School Legal Defense Association opposes
the bill are the following:

1) H.B. 1435 mandates automatic referrals of high-risk newborns to
the local Learning Gateway through the Office of Vital Statistics.
Who determines what is considered "high risk"? There is no parental
consent required for this referral. What happens if the parent
chooses not to follow up on this referral?

2) H.B. 1435 directs that screening processes be developed and tested
to address social/emotional/behavioral indicators which could be a
sign of future problems. Will the Department of Children and Families
take the child/children if the parent chooses to follow his own
doctor's advice instead of the government's?

3) H.B. 1435 requires that an electronic data system be developed to
track children who are screened, assessed, and referred for services.
Will parents be able to remove the child from the government programs
once the initial screening is done without their consent?

4) H.B. 1435 creates a huge, expensive bureaucracy, with the intent
of expanding the program statewide. The pilot project is $6 million
the first year for only three counties---what will it cost taxpayers
to fund this program for the whole state?

Please urge your state representative to vote against this bill.

Thank you for standing with us for liberty.

Sincerely,

Christopher Klicka
Senior Counsel

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