Connect with us
Chris Latvala is asking for funds to protect Madeira Beach, increase public safety and help parents struggling with addiction.

Headlines

Chris Latvala files nearly $5.5 million in local appropriations requests

The funds would benefit child welfare, Madeira Beach and emergency operations.

Rep. Chris Latvala filed three appropriations requests this week totaling nearly $5.5 million for his mid and north Pinellas County district.

The requests would fund beach protection in Madeira Beach, a drug recovery program for parents of young children and a fire training and education facility in Dunedin.

Latvala filed an appropriations request (HB 2611) for $1.5 million to fund beach groin maintenance in Madeira Beach. The beach groins are manmade structures that line portions of a beach and extend into the water to protect against beach erosion.

The funds would come from the Department of Environmental Protection. The appropriations request argues the funds would negate the need for beach nourishment and that the groins have proven effective because the city has not needed to request federal funding for beach renourishment.

The request is for nonrecurring funds, but future requests are anticipated.

Latvala also filed a request for $734,000 from the Department of Children and Families for a program within the agency Directions for Living’s BabyCAT program.

The program places parents identified by child protective investigators as having a substance abuse issue that contributes to abuse or neglect of their young children age 0-5 years. Those parents are placed into the BabyCAT program to reduced the risk of children having to be removed from their home.

Parents in the program receive 90-120 days of intensive mental health case management and substance abuse treatment. The program is aimed at decreasing the number of children entering the child welfare system and increasing the number of children entering trauma-informed early learning centers.

It also aims to decrease the number of parents arrested due to drug abuse, domestic violence or child abuse or neglect. Directions for Living uses jail data to determine if parents in the program were arrested while receiving treatment or within six-months after completing the program to monitor success.

Of the funding, $82,000 would go toward outcomes and expense tracking, $550,000 for direct services and $103,000 for drug testing supplies, travel and cell phone expenses.

The third request would provide $2 million for a 5,429 square-foot Emergency Operations Center and fire training facility including a three-story burn building in Dunedin.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a die-hard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and contentious issues surrounding transit. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also a devoted wife and mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.

Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Jim Rosica, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Dan McAuliffe, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Bob Sparks, Andrew Wilson.
Email: Peter@FloridaPolitics.com
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Connect
Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.