gop Opens New Front In Their War On Women – gop FL Gov Cuts Rape Crisis Funding During Rape Crisis Awareness Month

Scott cuts funding for rape crisis centers during Sexual Assault Awareness Month

On April 17, smack in the middle of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Gov. Rick Scott vetoed $1.5 million for the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence. The Legislature allotted the funds to the organization in order to support 30 rape crisis centers as they face impending reductions in collections, which currently is the bulk of their budgets.

The cut to the Florida Council was just one of the many health projects that Scott used his line-item veto power to eliminate from this year’s $70 billion budget.

Jennifer Dritt, the executive director of the Florida Council, says she is “stunned” the funding was cut. She says the line-item was “new money” meant to ease the reduction in collections that rape crisis centers are facing.

…Dritt says, she is “confused.” The line-item met Scott’s criteria of being a statewide expenditure and was not identified as a “turkey” by Florida Tax Watch this year. Being included on Tax Watch’s list is typically a grim omen for any line-item.

“There must be some kind of disconnect,” Dritt says. According to her, “1.2 million women in Florida already have been victimized” and the funding would have helped the centers “double” the number of services they offer and the number of victims they serve.

Dritt says the program was “thoroughly vetted” in the Legislature and had the support of state Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, R-Fort Myers, and Rep. Chris Dorworth, R-Heathrow. According to her, the program “met the criteria” set forth by the governor for member projects.

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