DeSantis Emphasizes ‘Families First’ in Slew of Legislation

April 18, 2022 Updated 9:30 AM ET

Gov. DeSantis supports Curriculum Transparency in Daytona, FL
Gov. DeSantis supports Curriculum Transparency in Daytona, FL

April 18, 2022 Updated 9:30 A.M. ET

TALLAHASSEE (FLV) – Governor Ron DeSantis put his signature on a handful of bills that follow suit with his strongly-touted “families first” agenda. 

One notable piece of legislation this year includes a new Florida law that bans abortions after 15 weeks in most cases. The Governor signed the bill Thursday. 

“We are here today to protect life. We are here today to defend those who can’t defend themselves,” DeSantis said. “This is a time where these babies have beating hearts. They can move. They can taste.”

Democrats said the new law strips away a woman’s “reproductive freedom.”

“Women should make decisions about their own bodies, not governors. I’d veto this bill and any attempt to restrict the right to choose. Full stop,” said Democrat U.S. Representative Charlie Crist on Twitter

The Governor also emphasized a 2020 law requiring a minor receive parental consent in order to have an abortion. 

Another new Florida law promotes fatherhood in Florida. DeSantis signed the bill into law April 11th. The state investigated $70 million for family and youth support. 

“Incredibly, there are those who diminish the importance of fatherhood and the nuclear family – we will not let that happen in our state. I am proud to say we are doing everything we can to support involved fatherhood in Florida,” DeSantis said. 

The new law includes funding for education programs, mentorship programs, and one-on-one support for responsible and involved fatherhood. 

The Governor has also touted a law he signed in 2021 creating the Parents’ Bill of Rights. The bill says the government cannot “infringe” on the “fundamental rights” of a parent to direct the upbringing, education, health care, and mental health of a minor child. 

He additionally removed the sales tax on diapers and baby clothes.

DeSantis signed legislation to support and encourage adoption in the state. Florida has more than 4,000 foster families. 

“Not only does this bill allow us to expand our support for foster parents, but it also creates more opportunities for foster children. Including our work on early literacy and fatherhood, Florida is a national leader in setting young children up for success,” DeSantis said. 

The bill creates a $200 per month child-care subsidy for any foster parent and relative or nonrelative who has a child between the age of birth to school entry placed in their home. This program will ensure every foster child has access to early learning programs and will help foster parents afford to enroll these children in child care.

The legislation will expand the number of students who are eligible for the tuition and fee waivers for those who have interacted with the dependency system.  

On Friday, First Lady Casey DeSantis attended ceremony to honor Corporal Mike Blair and his family’s story of adoption. In 2018, Blair responded to a scene where 8-year-old Ronnie’s father murdered the child’s mother and harmed Ronnie. 

Blair and his wife ended up adopting Ronnie. 

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