Randy Fine, Scott Plakon seek money for local projects

Florida House Committee Meetings
Projects include one for the developmentally disabled and another for substance abuse.

Lawmakers continue to file funding requests for hometown projects in the coming fiscal year, with Republican lawmakers filing appropriation bills to earmark money to a program in Brevard County that helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities find jobs. Another seeks funding for a Seminole County Sheriff program that helps people recover from opioid abuse.

Funding requests are filed so lawmakers can consider including the projects in the state fiscal year 2022-2023 budget, which will provide state spending from July 1, 2022 until June 30, 2023. Lawmakers will begin working on the budget when they convene for the 60-day Legislative Session in Tallahassee in January.

Rep. Randy Fine on Monday filed an appropriations bill requesting $250,000 for the Brevard Achievement Center, which will work to increase employment opportunities, work skills, independence and community integration for more than 100 adults with significant disabilities. According to budget documents, 15% of the funding would be performance-based with incremental financial penalties for failure to meet deliverables.

Fine expects the program to require between $1 million and $3 million in additional funding for an additional five years beyond the 2022-2023 budget.

Rep. Scott Plakon also filed an appropriations bill Monday. Plakon is requesting $400,000 for the Seminole County Sheriff Office’s Hope and Healing Center.

Opened in March 2021, the Center is a level II treatment facility that aims to better coordinate addiction recovery care. The center provides inpatient and outpatient treatment and can house up to 40 clients — 30 male and 10 female. The center currently is operating a three-year pilot project where Seminole County deputies contact patients who have overdosed and give them an opportunity to attend the center. Patients are given counseling and treatment for addiction by professionals until space becomes available at longterm substance abuse treatment centers.

Budget documents show Plakon anticipates the program will require funding for two years beyond the 2022- 2023 budget, but that the funding would total less than $1 million.

Christine Jordan Sexton

Tallahassee-based health care reporter who focuses on health care policy and the politics behind it. Medicaid, health insurance, workers’ compensation, and business and professional regulation are just a few of the things that keep me busy.


One comment

  • Patricia Snover

    October 6, 2021 at 2:23 pm

    I’m a bit concerned about the new Brevard Achievement Bill. There are programs within the county that provide services if people would reach out to them. I would much rather see some work be done on the child labor laws. We have programs here in Brevard for developmentally disabled adults and children. projects would this money enhance? I’m a bit concerned about parents encouraging their under aged, 13 yr old son or daughter, to go into business with machinery and drive vehicles that are not meant for the road. The wage and hour bureau says that mowing lawns is a chore. I have seen posts on social media where a father’s encouraging his son to go into business at 13. Its not safe for the child or the people he’s mowing lawns for at that age. Insurance? Licenses? I hope that this doesn’t reach deaf ears. This is important. Thanks. Sincerely, Patricia Snover

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