June 5, 2001

Florida: Governor Bush Vetoes Government Nanny Bill

Florida Home School Legal Defense Association members defeated a bill that would have laid the foundation for transforming Florida into a "government nanny" state. Senate Bill 1018, sponsored by Senator Ken Pruitt, would have created a new big government program called "Learning Gateway," resulting in systematic hospital or home visits by trained staff to new mothers.

S.B. 1018 passed both chambers of the legislature and only required Governor Jeb Bush's signature to become law. Governor Bush was not fully supportive of this bill, but there was little active opposition to it. HSLDA sent out two E-lerts notifying our Florida members of this dangerous measure and urging them to call Governor Bush, express their opposition to S.B. 1018, and ask him to veto it. Additionally, HSLDA Senior Counsel Christopher Klicka sent Governor Bush's office a letter outlining eight reasons why this bill should be vetoed.

The Florida home school community responded strongly with hundreds of phone calls and e-mails, persuading Governor Bush to veto S.B. 1018 on May 31, 2001.

Collaborating with the Florida Department of Children and Family Services, the Learning Gateway program would have screened children from birth to age 9 for biological, environmental, and behavioral risks and learning problems. Further, Learning Gateway providers would have conducted needs/strength-based assessments of families, and would have referred families for "needed" services and developmental monitoring. All this would have created a huge expense for Florida taxpayers and would have subjected parental rights to the control of the government.

 Other Resources

More information on Florida's Senate Bill 1018: The "Government Nanny" Bill