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

2/28/2002 5:58:58 PM
Christopher J. Klicka, Esq., Senior Counsel of HSLDA
Florida--"Government Nanny" Resurrected in the Florida Senate

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 28, 2002

Dear Florida HSLDA Members and Friends,

Thanks to an outpouring of opposition from home schoolers and other
concerned parents, the House of Representatives' Council for Lifelong
Learning voted to table H.B. 1435, the "Government Nanny" bill.

However, the battle is not over. Florida Senate Majority Leader John
McKay, is upset about the defeat in the Florida House and is trying
to rush the bill through the Senate. You must immediately call your
senator and ask him to vote against the Senate version of the
"Government Nanny" bill, S.B. 88.

Echoing objections expressed by grassroots as well as HSLDA, the
House Council for Lifelong Learning published on the Florida House
website an analysis of why H.B. 1435 was voted down: "This bill is
intrusive, weakens private parental decision-making, and is the
antithesis of the principles of individual freedom, personal
responsibility, and family empowerment."

"While [H.B. 1435] adds language relating to parental consent, it
also adds the authorization to obtain numerous educational and other
confidential records without parental consent.

"The bill provides for duplication of services already available.
This bill may have constitutional problems. This bill conflicts with
and duplicates recent legislative policy decisions and laws. This
bill could lead to lawsuits against the state."

Your help had a tremendous impact in persuading the House to kill
H.B. 1435. Thank you for your willingness to sacrifice the time to
make a call. Now we need your help to stop its sister bill, S.B. 88.


REQUESTED ACTION:

Please call your state senator IMMEDIATELY and deliver this message:

"Please vote against S.B. 88. This bill creates a government program
that will invade family privacy, usurp the role of parents, and waste
taxpayer money. This bill is unnecessary 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 28, through March 6th.

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

BACKGROUND:

S.B. 88, the Senate version of 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."

Upset by the defeat of H.B. 1435, Senate Majority Leader John
McKayhas pushed S.B. 88 into a fast track. He has pulled it from
committee and sent it directly to the floor by "special order." It
could be voted on anytime.

The purpose of S.B. 88 is to "screen" children from birth to age 9
for "biological, environmental, and behavioral risks," and "learning
problems." Furthermore, Learning Gateway providers will conduct
"intake with families," conduct "needs/strength-based assessments of
families," and "make referrals for needed services" and
"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 S.B. 88:

1) S.B. 88 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) S.B. 88 directs that screening processes be developed and tested
to address social/emotional/behavioral indicators which could be a
sign of future problems. Will the Florida Department of Children and
Families take the child away if the parent chooses to follow his own
doctor's advice instead of the government's?

3) S.B. 88 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) S.B. 88 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 senator to vote against this bill.

Thank you for standing with us for liberty.

Sincerely,

Christopher Klicka
Senior Counsel

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