House State Affairs Committee to discuss spending by state-funded nonprofits

lobbying money
Spending oversight remains a top-of-mind issue for lawmakers after Tiffany Carr scandal.

The House State Affairs Committee will discuss on Tuesday how nonprofits and other state-funded organizations are using Florida tax dollars.

Spending oversight remains a top-of-mind issue for lawmakers headed into the 2021 Legislative Session. It became a Legislature-wide concern last session when lawmakers discovered that a state-backed CEO was paid roughly $7.5 million over three years.

The CEO, Tiffany Carr, also received more than $4 million in paid time off while presiding over the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Carr lived lavishly while domestic violence shelters went underfunded, many lawmakers lamented.

“We need to stop congratulating ourselves on how much we spend on a problem and start asking ourselves what we are getting for the money we spend,” House Speaker Chris Sprowls said in November. “We thought we were spending millions of dollars to help women and children in the fight against domestic violence. It turned out we were really helping Tiffany Carr buy houses in North Carolina so she could hide away from our process servers.”

The Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence served as the Department of Children and Families’ sole-source contractor for more than a decade.

Lawmakers in 2020 terminated the state’s relationship with the coalition. The state’s 42 domestic-violence shelters are now overseen by DCF until a new contractor is selected.

Carr, meanwhile, has maintained a low-profile amid the scandal.

Lawmakers are also focused on the coalition’s executive staff and board of directors, many of whom signed off on Carr’s salary and benefits.

Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered Inspector General Melinda Miguel in November to investigate and determine if any criminal wrongdoing occurred at the organization.

Monday, meanwhile, marks the second interim committee week for lawmakers.

The House State Affairs Committee will meet at 5 p.m. Tuesday in Webster Hall (212 Knott).

Committee weeks will continue through the start of the Legislative Session on March 2.

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the Florida State Capitol. After a go with the U.S. Army, the Orlando-native attended the University of Central Florida and earned a degree in American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. He'd love to hear from you. You can reach Jason by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter at @byJasonDelgado.


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