Senate panel to consider ‘healthy marriage’ guide

Book would be produced with private funds.

The push to create a state-sanctioned Guide to a Healthy Marriage is back for 2020, and will get its first Senate committee hearing this week.

On Tuesday afternoon, Children, Families, and Elder Affairs will consider SB 682, a perennial refile from Ocala Republican Dennis Baxley.

Baxley, who first carried this bill when he was in the House years ago, sees a compelling state interest: “mounting evidence” of the costs of “issues related to divorce.”

The bill has a number of components.

If ratified, it would create a “Marriage Education Committee.” This committee would include six “marriage and family advocates.”

DeSantis would appoint two of those advocates. The House Speaker and the Senate President would each appoint two more.

The guide will be paid for with private funds and having access to it would be a prerequisite for a marriage license.

The publication would address “conflict management, communication skills, family expectations, financial responsibilities and management, domestic violence resources, and parenting responsibilities.”

Should the Senate version make it out of the Tuesday committee, it would have two more stops: Judiciary and Rules.

Jacksonville Republican Rep. Clay Yarborough is again championing the measure (HB 319) in the Florida House, where it has three committee referrals, but has yet to make an agenda.

Yarborough, in explaining his support of the bill (a re-file for him also), stressed economic utility, saying a national study performed by the New York-based Institute for American Values showed $1.9 billion annual costs to taxpayers due to “family fragmentation.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Terry Power

    January 27, 2020 at 3:54 am

    Pass Senate Bill 1832 if you want to address the outrageous cost of divorce in Florida.

    The current outdated system only enriches predatory litigating divorce attorneys who prey on Florida families in crisis.

    Enough is enough!

    • David Weaver

      January 28, 2020 at 9:38 am

      The bill proposed would not influence the cost of divorce litigation in any way. If that WERE the intent, why not institute such reforms directly instead of by this nonsense?

Comments are closed.


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 @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704